Image by Srecko Skrobic

Management Of Urban Centres

When considering the key points on the checklist, owners and operators are advised to consider the common issues and temporary interventions that have been identified for urban centres.

Have you considered how to manage:

  • pedestrian space?

  • pedestrian movement?

  • queues?

  • traffic management?

Social distancing in urban centres

To ensure social distancing in urban centres, owners and operators are advised to consider the utilisation of pedestrian space, movement of people, queuing requirements and traffic management. The focus should be on temporary interventions in areas of highest footfall, particularly those that provide a range of attractions and services as they pose the greatest risk.

Every urban centre will have its own unique issues and temporary interventions that can be introduced to enable social distancing. However, there will be some common issues. The diagram below identifies key urban centres that are likely to be focal zones. These are likely to be areas of constrained space and with high levels of footfall.

Issues in urban centres

Issues for maintaining social distancing in urban centres may include:

  • High footfall and areas of dense population, particularly at peak times.

  • Multiple queues due to restricted entry and exit points into different areas or shops.

  • Pedestrian movement flows varying as different people move to different shops and facilities.

  • Constraints on pedestrian movement from unnecessary obstacles such as planters, transport stops, landscape features, and bins.

  • Need to provide space for regular, safe, formal and informal road crossing points.

  • Need to accommodate people entering and exiting spaces from different types of transport e.g. cars, bikes, foot, bus, train and metro in the same area.

  • Higher levels of traffic congestion and increased need for vehicle access.

  • Multiple landowners and stakeholders operating in the same areas requiring a coordinated approach.

  • Ability to wash hands or hand sanitation.

  • People with disabilities and other groups who may have additional needs to be kept under consideration.

Potential interventions that could support social distancing

This is what you should be considering for the utilisation of pedestrian space:

  • Footway widening to accommodate distancing between pedestrians, including the use of temporary barriers in the carriageway; changes to parking bays, loading bays and cycle lanes.

  • Reduce unnecessary obstacles, for example planters and add markings/tape on seating to maintain social distancing. Security considerations and the impacts of measures on people with disabilities and other groups needs to be kept under consideration and may call for a balanced approach.

  • Signing and communications to remind pedestrians of distance requirements. This could be through spray markings and signage at entrances and movement intersections.

 

This is what you should be considering for pedestrian movement:

  • One-way movement of pedestrians to maintain 2 metres, (6 feet) distancing.

  • Signing to encourage pedestrians to wait and allow others to pass at entry ways or along footpaths.

  • Provide separate entry and exit routes for pedestrian access with clear signs.

  • Maximise access to entry and exit routes to minimise queues.

  • Move bus stops/shelters to areas which can accommodate queuing in line with social distancing requirements.

 

This is what you should be considering for queuing:

  • Defined areas to indicate where pedestrians should stand when queuing using spray markings or temporary barriers.

  • Management of multiple queues for different businesses through clear signing and the use of marshals as appropriate.

  • “Do not join the queue” signs provided at popular destinations, when capacity reached.

 

This is what you should be considering for traffic management:

  • Traffic lanes could be closed, made one way or completely pedestrianised.

  • Consider the need for delivery access, timing and essential access for street works and maintenance.

  • Consider car parking layout and spacing, reducing capacity if appropriate. On street parking could be suspended to facilitate other measures.

  • Signing to inform pedestrians and road users of changes to road layouts.

  • Security considerations, and the impact of measures on people with disabilities and other groups, need to be kept under consideration. This includes access for blue badge holders and may call for a balanced approach.

Social distancing in high streets and town centres

High streets are the main street in a town or city and are the typical location for most shops, banks, offices and other businesses. High streets typically have high levels of footfall within constrained and complex urban environments. They have a wide variety of different and competing user groups and modes of transport. High streets have peak usage times in the morning, lunch time, late afternoon and at the weekend. It is within high streets that conflict in achieving social distancing is most likely to arise.

Typical temporary interventions to consider for high streets and town centres:

  1. Widen footways by utilising the carriageway

  2. Reduce traffic speeds using traffic calming measures

  3. Pedestrianise and consider impact on traffic movement

  4. Suspend on street parking to facilitate to other measures

  5. Minimise pinch points, whilst taking into consideration security and the needs of the disabled and elderly.

  6. Safe, level crossing points

  7. Seating areas for the disabled and elderly

  8. Introduce cycleways

  9. Phase delivery timings in loading bays

  10. Queue marking indicators on pedestrian areas, focusing queues along the building frontage where appropriate

  11. Signs on social distancing and circulation, particularly at conflict points such as junctions and crossings

  12. Use existing street furniture (e.g. lamp posts) for signing to avoid impacting on pedestrian flows

  13. Allow space where multiple queues meet

  14. Signs to limit queue length, helping manage multiple queues and pedestrian flows

  15. Stewards to help manage queues and pedestrian flows

  16. Keep building entrances and footpaths clear, whilst taking account of the needs of the disabled, elderly and security considerations

  17. Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points

  18. Signs reminding users to socially distance at bus stop waiting areas

  19. Additional cleaning regimes and maintenance

  20. Signs at public toilets for queuing, social distancing and automatic sanitising

Social distancing in enclosed or semi-enclosed retail areas

Enclosed and semi-enclosed retail areas are likely to have high peak time footfall levels and restricted access and exit points. In addition, they will have delivery and servicing requirements.

Typical temporary interventions to consider for retail areas:

  1. Queue marking indicators and barriers outside main entrance

  2. Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points

  3. Phasing of access and opening times

  4. Keep building entrances clear

  5. Identify waiting zones

  6. Phase delivery timings in loading bays

  7. Signs on social distancing and circulation

  8. One-way circulation for street markets

  9. Queue markings for street stalls

  10. Signing and information provided at widened entry and exit points for markets

Social distancing in public places around commercial buildings

The public spaces around commercial buildings will typically be around office buildings, office developments and business parks. The ownership of these spaces is likely to vary with many spaces associated with private landowners. The use of these spaces will be heavily influenced by the working patterns of the tenants of these offices. Commercial spaces will typically have higher volume and density of use at the start of the working day particularly 8-9am and at the end of the working day between 5-6pm. Owners and operators should be aware that businesses and other commercial operations may implement staggered opening times to support the facilitation of social distancing in public spaces or on public transport. Any changes to opening hours / hours of operation and the impact this may have on foot traffic in public spaces should be considered.

Typical temporary interventions to consider for commercial areas:

  1. Queue marking indicators outside office entrances

  2. Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points

  3. Phasing of access and opening times

  4. Keep building entrances clear

  5. Widen footways by utilising the carriageway

  6. Phase delivery timings in loading

Social distancing in areas surrounding transport hubs

The areas around transport hubs typically include bus stations, train stations and tram stations. These areas may have high levels of footfall with large numbers of people congregating and waiting. There is typically interchange with other modes of transport like taxis, cycle hubs and private car use.

Typical temporary interventions to consider for transport hubs:

  1. Develop a zonal plan for station hub highlighting destinations, conflict zones and desire lines

  2. Queue marking indicators and barriers outside main entrance

  3. Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points

  4. Allow space where multiple queues meet

  5. Identify waiting zones

  6. Signs on social distancing and circulation

  7. Taxi, bus, cycle and pick up to have waiting zones with identified routes through

  8. Consider reallocation of station forecourt to provide more space for interchange. Consider appointment of marshals to help manage the flow of people into, and out of transport hubs

  • LinkedIn

© 2020 Social Distancing Planner a OnePlan product