My own ‘City Beautiful’

March 2011

After reading T J Maslen’s 1843 vision and the ‘New City Beautiful’ vision of 2011 I’ve been inspired to add my own suggestions for civic improvement:

Smelly tunnel – 'Marble Arch'

  • Immediately construct a new bridge over the existing railway bridge on Leeman Road so that no one else has to suffer walking/cycling through that horrible tunnel we ironically call ‘Marble Arch’.
  • Get rid of the car park around Clifford’s Tower, replacing it with grass and trees, proper big trees that can have enough space to grow without being ‘pollarded’.
  • Set up an Airspeed centre/museum in the old Airspeed/Reynard’s garage building in Piccadilly.
  • Invent a new kind of pavement that opens up underneath anyone who drops litter and keeps them there until they’ve promised they’ll never do it again.
  • . . . And create a personal elevated covered walkway from my house to Barnitts in King’s Square, and to other proper shops selling useful things, so that I don’t have to battle a route through a million tourists when I need to buy a tin of paint.

Update: Your ‘City Beautiful’ visions

I’m sure many other York residents – and visitors to the city – have their own ideal vision of how the city’s development might meet their needs. Clearly mine above aren’t entirely serious. Serious or silly, please feel free to add a comment, as this page now (in 2013) has a comments form. Back in 2011 when I wrote this it didn’t, but Don sent me his thoughts by email:

Don said:

‘I would like to see the city “zoned” more. For example we have the “latin Quarter” already. The major tourism seems to come from hen and stag parties at weekends and families enjoying the city. Try to separate them more and retain the historic center.Turn Micklegate into more clubs and pub area as it is near the station and Police can concentrate their presence there better at the weekend! Maybe with a few more Premier Inn type low priced hotels to accommodate them all in the area.

Parliament area needs something when the splash palace goes perhaps a nice fountain and seating like an Italian Piazza, York style! Piccadilly is such a wide street you feel that it leads somewhere and it just fades at the M&S store. Reroute traffic then make it traffic free and extend the seating/Piazza theme to the Merchant house area with a few suitable shading large trees in the middle. With Global warming the cafe culture from Europe will be embraced for more months of the year in the UK. This could also be used for all the market activities we have and get folk into your museum.’

(The museum Don mentions is the Yorkshire Air Museum’s plan for the old Reynard’s garage building)

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