Open Streets

In the summer of 2019 we organised two Open Streets events on Priory Road in St Denys, North and South side. This was a great success and we ran another one, just before Christmas, on Saturday 7th December 2019, 5-7pm on Priory Road (North).

There were Christmassy window decorations, festive food & drink and some music! Families, friends and neighbours joined us for a few hours of outdoor festive cheer.

Reasons for Open Streets

One of the themes that has emerged from the Clean Air Cafés is that residents would love to reclaim local streets from commuter and commercial traffic, not only to reduce local air pollution, but also to have safer streets and a space to socialise. Some permanent measures have been proposed, such as one-way traffic, restricted access or turning parts of the neighbourhood into ‘Home Zones‘.

Those ideas would be major projects, so as an interim measure it’s great that people have also suggested smaller-scale, temporary actions such as: ‘Introduce Play Streets in St Denys’ and ‘A day of closed roads where you can only cycle/scooter/walk through St Denys’.

With this in mind, we invited St Denys residents to take part in temporary street closures on Saturday 20th July. We chose this date as it was just before the school summer holidays and the Big Bike Revival was running some cycling activities in St Denys that day. The St Denys Repair Café was also on – it’s somewhere you can get a new lease of life for your broken items.

Open Streets are an opportunity for: a proper street party or community lunch; for children to safely play in the street; to have space to safely cycle, walk or scooter about; or just put deckchairs out and have a cup of tea with your neighbours.

We put in applications in for two separate road closures – one on Priory Road (North) and one on Priory Road (South). It was up to residents to decide how they wanted to use the space on that day and to help organise things, for example, stewarding the road closure or putting together plans for a street party.

Eden Communities Big Lunch
Free Range Kids in the street playing hopscotch 2011, Sustrans. Credit: ‘J Bewley/Sustrans’
Parking Day 2014, Southampton

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