National #CarFreeDay

Reallocation of Street Space and safer use of our neighbourhoods

not a car to be seen

To acknowledge last weeks national #CarFreeDay I thought it was worthwhile to revisit this Blog from exactly one year ago in September 2021.

Traffic and roads is one of the local community safety themes with car usage and a lack of safe crossing locations being a notable concern for the community. During the COVID lockdown people have enjoyed taking to the streets on foot, bicycle, skateboard and scooter and the clean air and quieter roads have had many health and well being benefits. The development of our local community safety strategy will be required to create and sustain this new social and health positivity. A possible and very practical means of achieving this would be for Camelon and Tamfourhill to become Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. This may mean roads being closed for periods of the day, for example outside local schools so that overtime there is a culture change where we no longer expect there to be motor vehicles within a given distance from any school. As the wearing of seat belts and drink driving are no longer considered to be sociably acceptable so will the presence of cars near schools be expected or allowed. The benefits are many , the safety of our children and young people and a reduction on the school car run and its environmental damage, healthier parents and children as walking and cycling become the new school run.

Consider how you and your family could benefit from a living in a Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

In my role as community safety engager I have been invited to participate in regular multi agency discussions chaired by the Leader of Falkirk Council Cecil Meiklejohn , this will put various local community safety issues onto the agenda and in particular the issue of road safety and traffic management will be a priority consideration for this Group. As always my focus will be to put the community at the front and centre of any new safety initiatives, so please watch this space for opportunities to be involved with shaping particular plans and actions.

Often our problems are ones of perception and if we change the view then we can change the narrative. I therefore would propose that instead of putting up big aggressive signs that say a road or street is closed that we put up cheerful signs that exclaim the road or street is open to : walking, cycling, skateboarding , wheel chair access and just about any form of sports, games and exercise, this below is the kind of signage that I am talking about:

My colleague Dan was recently highlighting the Road Safety Trust who will provide funds for councils and communities to devise, plan and implement improvements to road safety and this could be one avenue we pursue locally in order to improve road and traffic safety.

I want to finish this week on a high note and ask you to consider what it might be like if we began to transform our neighbourhood into a Low Traffic neighbourhood. On the 15th October we will launch our first #tidycleangreen pop up park as part of the Gather and Play event at the Juniors Car park, this will be a strictly no car allowed but all games allowed event, a low traffic neighbourhood in action, please come down and have a look and enjoy the space in a creative, safe and green way.

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