Is this the “right place” that was lacking in the northern district? New pedestrianization plans published

New plans for the permanent pedestrianization of Stevenson Square in the North Quarter have been published.

The square has been largely traffic-free since last summer, when the council temporarily closed a number of roads to encourage people to return to the city center.

It was hoped that widening sidewalks would help people distance themselves socially while bars and cafes also received expedited licenses to put tables and chairs outside.

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Stevenson Square quickly became a hive of activity with people drinking and socializing outside and there was a clamor for the measures to be made permanent.

Some downtown road closures had to be rolled back when emergency coronavirus legislation ended in October.



A map of the Stevenson Square pedestrianization plan

But in the North Quarter, Manchester council has come under pressure to offer improved walking and cycling routes that were promised after criticism of the £ 9million overhaul of Great Ancoats Street.

A £ 2.3million plan to make temporary closures at Thomas Street and Ducie Street permanent has already been approved.

This means that one of the city center’s busiest pedestrian junctions, outside Piccadilly Station, is now closed to cars and has a cycle path.

What do you think of the plans? Give your opinion in our comments below

Stevenson Square’s new plan would see it fully and permanently pedestrianized with a two-way street crossing it at the same level as the sidewalk.

There would be around 20 new trees, seating, bike racks, a “rain garden” and durable drainage systems installed.

Traffic will still be able to pass through Lever Street, but where it meets the square, the road will become an elevated carriageway with a controlled pedestrian crossing.



2019 artist’s impression of what pedestrianization could look like – without the proposed cycle path

Other “uncontrolled” pedestrian crossings will be marked on the cycle path.

Additional improvements are also being proposed around the square, including new pedestrian and cycle crossings at the intersections of Oldham / Hilton and Newton / Hilton.

Pedestrian paths will also be widened in the area to give more space to pedestrians.

The Hilton Street payment and display docks will be removed, while some area loading docks will also be relocated to accommodate these changes.



English fans celebrate in Stevenson Square

Other trees could also be planted subject to future surveys to find optimal space and account for underground utilities.

The pedestrianization plans, now open for consultation until December 21, have so far received a generally warm welcome.

Architect Jamie Hanson tweeted: “This is a big move, I hope there is a majority of support for these plans. The NQ missed out on a ‘good’ place and Stevenson Sq is the heart of the region. ! “



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Cyclist activist Sam added: “The final consultation on Stevenson Square is open. It’s good to see full pedestrianization (almost: Lever St still cuts first) on the table. Now more closely matches the original rendering of the square , but with a bike path addition!

Jon-Connor Lyons, Union Counselor for the Piccadilly District, added: “We really welcome this latest consultation on the proposals for permanent pedestrianization of Stevenson Square.

“The North Quarter is a very dense area with buildings of vaiorus height, history and architectural merits, although it lacks public space to relax.

“What I would love to see is more non-commercial seating in the plaza that is also age-friendly, as well as an artist-friendly environment for creatives to help expand the space.

“I encourage residents to come forward and contribute to the development of this space.

Councilor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member of Manchester City Council for the Environment, said: “I am incredibly happy that we are able to take another step towards creating a more accessible and prosperous North Quarter. “



There are broader plans to improve walking and cycling options in the North Quarter

“Making more space available for walking and cycling as well as the introduction of more green spaces are just two of the many priorities that have been highlighted to us by residents and businesses throughout the consultations that we have. carried out.

“Last year’s experience when more space was given to pedestrians and cyclists was incredibly positive and signaled a change in the way people want to interact and engage with the city of Manchester .

“I look forward to hearing people’s comments on this latest round of consultation and encourage residents and businesses to participate.

You can find all the details of the plan and give your opinion by going to www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations

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