Photo of the Day: Shared public spaces are a complete hoax

It is a bit early in the new year for me to be too curmudgeonly, but nothing has stopped me before!

I often walk down Ann Street in Brighton’s New England Quarter, through the ill-conceived ‘shared space’ for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

img_4021I have long observed this ridiculous arrangement for which some ‘expert’ no doubt was well paid and applauded. But it is a complete nonsense. Even on a quiet bank holiday morning a large white van gave no quarter as pedestrians had to make a hurried escape. I have seen cyclists aggressively ring their bells, even shout at pedestrians to assert their supremacy.

In a dispute between a vehicle, a cyclist and a pedestrian, there is a clear hierarchy of supremacy.

It is similar at the nearby skatepark on The Level. Huge amounts of funds and space have been allocated to a facility for boys and young men, at the expense of girls and young women. Yet this scheme won awards and the Council is proud of it. But what does it say about the Council’s commitment to equality?

No doubt apologists for the skate park will say it is open to girls and young women, but a passing view will confirm that its use is usually exclusively male. No alternative provision is made for girls.

The presence of so many adult men is intimidating for girls and young women, as well as for young boys.

So called ‘shared spaces’ are a complete hoax.

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2 thoughts on “Photo of the Day: Shared public spaces are a complete hoax

  1. I don’t disagree with the examples you give Andy, but I think the issue is that insufficient effort is made to change the culture of the people using the areas. I think the skatepark in Hollingdean is less dominated by male skaters. However the Level lacks the level of supervision we were originally promised and it is exposed to all sorts of risks as a result that do not help. The Ann Street area exists in isolation of most of the rest of the city, perhaps if we could move towards a shared space city (except for the arterial roads) we might see a bit more tolerance?

  2. Photo of the Day: A Warning to Whining Motorists – Andy Winter's BHT Blog

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