Petition Launched to Pedestrianise Deansgate
A petition has been launched to pedestrianise Deansgate following successful direct action by Extinction Rebellion (XR) that has seen thousands of people enjoying the cross-city route on foot, using mobility aids and by bicycle.
The XR action has invited people to envisage a more people-friendly street that offers space for people to move safely through the city. Currently the street features wide car lanes and narrow pavements along most of its stretch, which provides an inhospitable environment for people due to high levels of air and noise pollution.
Local businesses have shown their support for the XR action:
— Owain Sutton (@OwainAlty) August 30, 2019
— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) August 30, 2019
The petition notes that the word ‘pedestrianised’ is used as shorthand to mean closed to routine vehicle traffic. The petition demands that the street should instead be open to pedestrians, especially to people using mobility aids, and to push bikes, but with clear segregation to make it safe for all. Some delivery access may also be required at times as is the case for other major city pedestrianised streets.
Manchester is already late to act by comparison with other European cities, which have implemented people-focused improvements to their environment. For example, Brussels responded to its unhealthy environment in 2015 by pedestrianising Place de la Bourse and one of its most polluted routes, Boulevard Anspach. The city has continued to progress with private car-free schemes.
4,000 signatures are required for the petition to be debated by Manchester City Council, so add your voice now.