Stillwaters run deep – Context sensative highway engineering

Streets can be seen in many ways. As a machine for transporting with efficiency as its only goal. Or as a home of a community where people live, work and relax.
Designing streets that link with the local history and context yet perform their transport functions safely and efficiently is the challenge for public realm engineers and highway designers.

The struggles of Stillwater, USA show how with time, care and envolvement solutions can balance the needs of all users.
Resident perception was that the county wanted to cut through and straighten out the very hills and curves that give the area its character.
That is until Engineering Division Director John Risko, applying Context Sensitive Solutions training, came to the community seeking their input. Through a stakeholder committee and a series of public meetings, the new bridge design was considered alongside the history and context of Stillwater.

Stillwater - Context sensative highway engineering

Initial highway proposals were to transform a road designed in 1700 into a modern highway with a 40ft wide structure designed for traffic speeds of 50mph inappropriate so close to a residential community.

The bridge design reduces traffic to safe speeds and while maintaining links with the heritage and environment of the area.
It is a unique gateway feature that announces the entrance Stillwater and its community and history.

Stillwater - Context sensative highway engineering

Shared space at busy intersection, Poynton, Cheshire

Park Lane and Fountain Place jointly form the commercial and social centre of Poynton. As such they have a critical place function for the village, helping to define its identity and local distinctiveness, requiring a high quality environment that will encourage social interaction and economic vitality.

Vehicle flows 10,500 per day Park Lane

27,000 per day
6% HGV’s

A523. London Road & A5149 Chester Road
Scheme cost  £3m

Design Strategy:
The design identified five locations for gateways to highlight the transition from highway, with its predominant movement function, to the village centre, where other activities and functions are equally important.
The design for Fountain Place replaced the existing traffic signal control and strongly defined arrangement of footways and carriageway with a design based on shared space principles, comprising two distinct but interconnected circular spaces. In view of the heavy traffic flows, paving materials and low kerbs were used to define the areas for traffic circulation as a guide for drivers and other users, but these physical clues are subtle and also emphasise the pedestrian desire lines through the space.

Village Shared space - Poynton, Cheshire