Challenges: Movement

Post it notes contributed at the My Castle Gateway Challenges Event on 26th September 2017

In the third of our challenge events we looked at movement. In the My Castle Gateway draft brief the following was expressed:

People would like to be able to:

The aim of the Challenges events is to deepen our understanding of the issues, refine the brief and explore experimental opportunities to try things out now.

During the event we identified the following clusters of issues:

The city centre being used by all:
How to enable the participation of all – from all social and economic groups – in the city centre of York. Comments recognised the dangers of inequality forcing people on lower incomes out of the city (due to housing costs) and out of the city centre (due to costs of getting there, being there and lack of ability to buy things they need). The availability of affordable ways to move (for example public transport at the tight times and right price) was highlighted.

Continuity and clarity of routes:

The Fishergate / Tower Street gyratory was identified as a barrier to pedestrian / cycle movement. The desire to walk and cycle alongside the Foss into town and cross the Foss from Castle Car Park was very much affirmed. The underlying issue identified was continuity of routes starting and ending way beyond Castle Gateway. This included a way of cycling safely through town during footstreet hours without getting off your bike. Wayfinding was noticed as an issue, both through and to the Castle Gateway area.

Inclusivity of all users:
There was recognition that different users – from blue badge holders, the blind, and those who move at different speeds – need slightly different things. But also a recognition that good policy on movement allowed this to happen without major one-off exceptions being required. There was real interest in ensuring collaboration between different users, just designating ‘shared space’ was not enough.

Policy and political connectivity:
It was noted that the council has a lot of relevant strategies and different teams working on linked issues (health, air quality, bike ability, iTravel, One Planet York). There was a need for these to be brought together, and a wish for it to be done in Castle Gateway. Part of this was recognising that good strategy needs the right political conditions and will – and that bold decisions by officers or elected members needed broad community support.

A post it note from the Challenges event: How do we work across silos?

Next steps

The three questions we’ve been asking in the final part of the Challenge workshops are:

What do we need to understand?
Who do we need to talk to?
What can we do to creatively try out and experiment with possible Castle Gateway futures?

What do we need to understand?
Traffic flows and future predictions of transport, movement and parking needs. This would include understanding the current parking capacities and usage. Part of this will be done within the Masterplan process and we will share this when this work is ready.

Who do we need to talk to?
Tourists and how they experience the welcome to York – We need to understand better how people visiting the city make sense of their arrival and navigate around. Cyclists – cycling as a simple way of getting to work seems to have drastically reduced over past decades; why have people abandoned the bicycle?

What can we do to creativity try out and experiment with possible Castle Gateway futures?
See how the streets could be re-purposed: Hold a Car Free Castle Gateway Day. The purpose of this would be to explore new ways through the area, new ways of using the gyratory and other broad areas of road, and explore taking pedestrian public space into the roads. This might include bike/electric bike try outs and would need to work with local businesses.

Give a better welcome: Experiment with welcome to visitors on coaches in St George’s Field.
Model how we might welcome visits, interpret the histories of the confluence (why York is here) and create wayfinding so visitors find their way to York independent businesses.

How might we experiment with using St George’s Field to offer a welcome and wayfinding to the city’s visitors?

Explore simple “what-ifs” Use temporary measures to see how small changes could make big improvements with the long term in mind.

We’ll be following these ideas up with planning events. Join our mailing list to keep in touch.

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