Can you imagine a place like Brighton with full-pedestrianisation along the seafront instead of an awful car-focussed dual-carriageway? I always ask myself this question at every seafront town/city I visit. I think it would be an absolutely wonderful breath of fresh air!
Mental-health impact: the effect any city-focus being on traffic rather than pedestrians infers serious stress levels. Brighton already has a large pedestrian pathway along the seafront, and it works well, but it is still alongside a busy road. but let’s move this idea further and get rid of cars completely along the seafront.
Respiratory health impact: Sure every beach-front is next to the sea already, but fewer cars next to large agglomerations of people means cleaner air to breathe. Obviously the cars will exist somewhere else, and the environmental impact would be negligible, but moving them away will be healthier for the public.
I’m fully aware that beachfront businesses still need to operate and have delivery/road access, but I’m sure this could be tackled sensibly. It has been proven than more people on foot is better for business in any case. Perhaps a good start/tester would be weekend pedestrianisation, as practiced on Kiev’s main street.
This concept presents a huge opportunity for all seafront towns/cities, especially those locations with less public appeal.
In the meantime, watch this great talk on street design (and pedestrianisation of Time Square) in New York by Janette Sadik-Khan: