- A large part of London’s Oxford Street could go car-free by 2018.
- The initiative is part of a larger project —projected to cost nearly $70 million — to ban cars entirely from Oxford Street.
- Several other cities around the world are making similar efforts to turn their centers into pedestrian-only zones.
Transport for London, the city’s transit agency, has called Oxford Street “Europe’s busiest retail street.” Located in Westminster in London’s West End, Oxford Street attracts more than 500,000 daily visitors.
If the plans are approved, they would turn a large part of Oxford Street into a pedestrian-only zone, according to the BBC.
The city hopes to commission a 2,625-footlong mural to be painted on the road, along with public art suspended overhead. The proposal calls for new public plazas with trees, benches, and 25 pedestrian crossings.
The road would be raised to the same level as the sidewalks, making the boulevard more accessible for wheelchair users and strollers. Buses would also be re-routed, and cyclists would not be able to ride in the area. The city might later install new bike lanes along quieter side streets.
Kahn said he hopes the plans will be put in place around the time a new Crossrail line, called the Elizabeth Line, opens in late 2018.
The plan is part of a larger effort to ban cars entirely from Oxford Street by 2021, with the goal of reducing traffic, air pollution, and pedestrian accidents. The project is projected to total nearly $70 million.
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