Thursday, 4 October 2012

Plants and pavements

Something like gleditsia could be planted near Isabel St
Another meeting this morning with the important people who look after Lambeth's public trees and plants, as well as Shape Landscape Architects.

It's almost prime planting season, so the experts are making final recommendations about what will thrive best and have maximum impact. It is likely that the semicircles near Hackford/ Isabel will be inhabited by something like a gleditsia, underplanted with bulbs and perennials.

Prunus might thrive on Caldwell St
The semi circles at the Hackford/ Caldwell junction might include something like a prunus (flowering cherry) underplanted with bulbs and perennials. Different varieties might be chosen for each tree pit so that there could be something in flower in every season. The bollards will be removed and tree stakes put in place. 

Fingers crossed that all this lovely greenery  - to be planted up by the end of the year - perhaps with a community planting day to help plant some of the bulbs - will lift spirits and help everyone respect and appreciate our very special neighbourhood...

Designed for pedestrians?

A few people are concerned about the unclear boundary between pavement and road on the raised table at Isabel Street/Hackford Road junction.

The design here is influenced by evidence from successful 'home zones' where the street is designed for people, and cars (and their drivers) are prompted to act as careful guests in the space. The intention is that visual cues including new signage and signature planting, as well as 20mph signs, will make motorists aware that this is a go-slow area, and encourage cars and vans to give priority to other road users. 

The busiest and most bonkers time for traffic seems to be around school drop-off and pick-up; at other times of day Hackford Road is relatively quiet. Do we need extra boundaries, bollards and barriers, or a wider motor-free area  (there are various options to explore)? Or shall we all keep a watchful eye and give this a go?