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London’s Oxford Street could go car-free in 2018

The first phase is projected to complete next year

proposal for car-free Oxford Street in London
The proposal for a car-free Oxford Street.
Images via Dezeen

London may have scrapped Thomas Heatherwick’s lush pedestrian bridge over River Thames, but the city may soon create a different kind of pedestrian paradise in the heart of the city. London mayor Sadiq Kahn just unveiled plans to transform London’s popular Oxford Street shopping area into a totally traffic-free boulevard.

The plan, anticipated to roll out in three phases, aims to improve pedestrian safety while reducing crowding and pollution. The first stage, covering the western section of the street, is projected to wrap in 2018. The second and third stages, which will connect the Marble Arch all the way to Tottenham Court Road, would be completed by 2020.

According to Dezeen, buses would be rerouted under the new proposal. The road would also be leveled with the pavement for greater wheelchair accessibility, and cyclists would have to dismount—an idea that’s already receiving some pushback, though new bike routes on smaller, parallel streets are reportedly under consideration.

As seen in these renderings, the reimagined thoroughfare would be lined with public plazas, trees, benches, and and potentially a piece of public art spanning over 2,600 feet. The whole project is expected to cost around $79 million, to be funded by the government and private sector. Implementation of the plan is pending a public consultation closing on December 17.

Via: Dezeen