A double yellow line that once said no to parking is now a park bench saying yes to sitting after a road in central London was turned into a mini pocket park.

The short road at the north end of Gordon Square in Bloomsbury was closed to road traffic in 2015 to be used as storage space for construction works, and now they have finished, rather than reopening the road, the council decided to turn it into a pocket park.

They recently filled the road with planters and seating areas on one side and a new cycle lane on the other. Right next to the UCL Institute of Archaeology, it’s a student breakout space during the week and a place for wandering tourists to relax on the weekends.

There’s a mix of classic tables and chairs, but also some large circular seating pods, and of course, the planting, along with bee and insect “hotels”.

Candidly, it’s pretty routine – planters and seating – but made so much better by the clever distortion of the double yellow lines into a bench to sit on.

That subtle nod to the primacy of the pedestrian over the motorist is a delightful addition.

The council said it will observe how the space and surrounding area are used and then may look to develop it in the future.


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  1. Russell Square says:

    Nice, but … a pocket park immediately next to a well-groomed public green space in an are filled with Well-groomed public green spaces just a few minutes walk from each other. Money well spent?

    • Gordon Square says:

      Personally I think the more ‘well-groomed public green spaces’ the better? Unless there’s a quota? a limit?

      Streets in London are (probably) 98% oriented towards cars, is a tiny shift towards a more welcoming, useable space such a terrible, awful thing?

      Money very well spent – now do the same in Zones 2 & 3.

  2. Oxford Street says:

    Can I have some of that please?

  3. jdslater says:

    Its a nice idea but not very well done. The tarmac looks awful. in theory it looks great. It’s not the same yellow.
    Can’t help think that in some other city it would look better

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