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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure there is a thread for this somewhere but I can't find it. It's becoming apparent that there is a massive hate for it and it 'acts as a barrier'. More threads are also going extensively off topic because of it. I propose this thread be about ideas, traffic calming solutions and future proposals for the highly controversial flyover.
 

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The reason it keeps getting brought up in multiple threads is (yes, because I bang on about it) because it's relevant to so many different developments going on in Manchester at the moment

As the city centre continues to expand we're going to start seeing more and more discussion about the Problem Of Manchester's Ring Road™ and how it's strangling the city and preventing it from expanding

In the south of the city you have Great Jackson St, First St, Circle Square and now Mayfield all stopping short of allowing the city to expand southwards because of the Mancunian Way. In the east you have New Islington, Ancoats, New Cross and NOMA all desperate to expand the city centre but hampered by Great Ancoats St and then Salford is desperate to expand the city westward but is hampered by numerous barriers.

The city centre wants to expand outwards, but that's only going to happen in a meaningful way if we sort out these barriers. I'm not advocating closing roads, I'm just saying the pedestrian environment around these roads could be vastly improved. It would benefit the entire city immensely, not to mention the inner city
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not preventing it from expanding. You have to work around whats in front of you. Chapel Street managed to do it. Theres talk of doing the same to GAS.Hulme exists across from Great Jackson Street. You cant go knocking down houses and communities because you want to build more towers. The University exists way beyond the Mancunian Way as does St Georges and soon to be Cornbrook. They feel a little isolated because there are massive empty spaces in between the city and the area. I still think commercial and leisure should be built in these areas so its not solely residential. Middlewood Locks will soon be another part of the city (even though its Salford). New Bridge Street is busy but has pedestrian crossings. The area is just a dump at the moment until Old Brewery gardens and Great Ducie Street framework starts. The area under the Mancunian Way can be utilised better. Bruntwood have started with the idea of Hatch. I hope they progress this. Could be a bit like Southbank.
 

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It's not preventing it from expanding. You have to work around whats in front of you. Chapel Street managed to do it. Theres talk of doing the same to GAS. The University exists way beyond the Mancunian Way as does St Georges and soon to be Cornbrook. They feel a little isolated because there are massive empty spaces in between the city and the area. I still think commercial and leisure should be built in these areas so its not solely residential. Middlewood Locks will soon be another part of the city (even though its Salford). New Bridge Street is busy but has pedestrian crossings. The area is just a dump at the moment until Old Brewery gardens and Great Ducie Street framework starts.
On Oxford Road - that's been a major thoroughfare for the two universities for decades, and so it would be incredibly difficult for it not to be at least a little more walkable than other areas.

It's also worth pointing out that there is no junction between Oxford Road and the Mancunian Way. It's not necessarily the motorway itself that's the problem, it's the space and slip roads and other infrastructure that are required to create a junction.

There's also areas (Great Jackson Street and Hulme being the prime example) where the motorway being at grade makes it virtually impossible to have any meaningful connection between areas. Flyover sections have their problems but at least they're not impassable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
On Oxford Road - that's been a major thoroughfare for the two universities for decades, and so it would be incredibly difficult for it not to be at least a little more walkable than other areas.

It's also worth pointing out that there is no junction between Oxford Road and the Mancunian Way. It's not necessarily the motorway itself that's the problem, it's the space and slip roads and other infrastructure that are required to create a junction.

There's also areas (Great Jackson Street and Hulme being the prime example) where the motorway being at grade makes it virtually impossible to have any meaningful connection between areas. Flyover sections have their problems but at least they're not impassable.
I disagree. As mentioned above, you have to work around whats there. Bring traffic calming into it. Thats what town planners do. It's not rocket science (to get a team together).
 

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The reason it keeps getting brought up in multiple threads is (yes, because I bang on about it) because it's relevant to so many different developments going on in Manchester at the moment

The city centre wants to expand outwards, but that's only going to happen in a meaningful way if we sort out these barriers. I'm not advocating closing roads, I'm just saying the pedestrian environment around these roads could be vastly improved. It would benefit the entire city immensely, not to mention the inner city
I don't think it's realistic to expect the flyover to be demolished. It plays a key role in distributing traffic from the south around the city centre/inner city without having to pass through the centre or conflict with radial traffic. However I agree it has a negative effect on the urban environment that will need to be dealt with.

There are two partial solutions that might yield positive results, while leaving the road itself intact.

Firstly two sections of the route should be slowed down and rebuilt as urban boulevards. These are:

1) The 340m section between Temperance Street and the up ramps by Manor Street (between Mayfield and Ardwick). At grade pedestrian and cycle crossings could be built at Manor Street and Hoyle Street. This would allow development similar to that proposed at the Hoyle Street West site to be built in northern Ardwick.

2) The 200m section where the Mancunian Road runs at grade between Hulme Park and Great Jackson Street. Again this could encourage dense development to cross the Mancunian Way into northern Hulme.

The other change that would be beneficial is to improve the quality of the pedestrian/cycle environment around the grade separated sections. While crossings exist at most of the junctions, they are poorly designed from a pedestrian perspective, requiring indirect routes and the use of underpasses. This would need to include encouraging uses that animate the space and surface pedestrian crossings to encourage feelings of safety.
 

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I am not against the idea of a ring road and, on balance, I don't think Trinity Way and Great Ancoats Street are that bad; a few traffic calming measures and some public realm improvements should sort them out.

The main culprit, which requires a complete redo, is (Surprise! Suprise!) Mancunian Way since its junctions completely shun out cyclists and pedestrians and force them to use poorly lit, piss smelling, and graffiti filled 'subways'.

Now that the city has started to fill up, Mancunian Way is looking increasingly out of place, I hope the days of that ugly overpass are numbered, but, realistically (and unfortunately), it'll probably remain with us for at least another 5-10 years 😕
 

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I am not against the idea of a ring road and, on balance, I don't think Trinity Way and Great Ancoats Street are that bad; a few traffic calming measures and some public realm improvements should sort them out.

The main culprit, which requires a complete redo, is (Surprise! Suprise!) Mancunian Way since its junctions completely shun out cyclists and pedestrians and force them to use poorly lit, piss smelling, and graffiti filled 'subways'.

Now that the city has started to fill up, Mancunian Way is looking increasingly out of place, I hope the days of that ugly overpass are numbered, but, realistically (and unfortunately), it'll probably remain with us for at least another 5-10 years 😕
Surley it is what it is and serves a purpose..?We just have to work around such. Was in Tokyo, last year, and they have lots of such roads within the central areas of the conurbation..Part of it went over part of the hotel we were in...
 

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I don't think it's realistic to expect the flyover to be demolished. It plays a key role in distributing traffic from the south around the city centre/inner city without having to pass through the centre or conflict with radial traffic. However I agree it has a negative effect on the urban environment that will need to be dealt with.

There are two partial solutions that might yield positive results, while leaving the road itself intact.

Firstly two sections of the route should be slowed down and rebuilt as urban boulevards. These are:

1) The 340m section between Temperance Street and the up ramps by Manor Street (between Mayfield and Ardwick). At grade pedestrian and cycle crossings could be built at Manor Street and Hoyle Street. This would allow development similar to that proposed at the Hoyle Street West site to be built in northern Ardwick.

2) The 200m section where the Mancunian Road runs at grade between Hulme Park and Great Jackson Street. Again this could encourage dense development to cross the Mancunian Way into northern Hulme.

The other change that would be beneficial is to improve the quality of the pedestrian/cycle environment around the grade separated sections. While crossings exist at most of the junctions, they are poorly designed from a pedestrian perspective, requiring indirect routes and the use of underpasses. This would need to include encouraging uses that animate the space and surface pedestrian crossings to encourage feelings of safety.
These should definitely be the priority, although I'm not sure from a transport perspective how easy it would be to downgrade sections of the road what with changes in speed limits etc etc. Less of an issue around Temperance Street as it's at one end and so you could just downgrade the whole section from Fairfield Street to Manor Street.
 

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However much I obsess over walkability, I kind of like the flyover part of Mancunian Way.

I tend to agree with Che, but I think I would only stick a wide slow rising pedestrian bridge at Great Jackson Street/Jackson Crescent, rather than blvding that part. I would also probably not bother with blvding the Ardwick part until Mayfield was near completion.

I would definitely prioritise a better pedestrian link between Hulme and Great Jackson Street in the short term (5 years). In the very long term future (50 years) I would probably bury most of the through traffic and boulevard/develop the top.
 

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I actually like the Mancunian way, and because it's elevated I don't think it acts as too much of a barrier. Also once everything is built the view driving over it will certainly be impressive. Also it helps carry a lot of through traffic that would otherwise be dispersed around the south of the city centre and the city centre.
 

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Its just that the whole ring road creates an inhospitable dead zone that perfectly circles the city. The only half permeable areas are GAS and Oxford road.

Take a google street view trip - the road almost perfectly correlates with devitalised urban space. And its not simply that this is just a donut left by post industrialisation: Post industrial areas have shown to be quite gentrifiable. Rather proximity to heavy traffic has been shown to discourage street life - something which we all enjoy in the form of urban 'vibrancy'.

I liken the mancunian way to heavy metals in your lawn - a buried copper (or other heavy metal) object can be seen as an area where the grass really struggles to grow. Its like someone buried a huge copper ring round the city, creating a lush island that cannot break out.
 

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I don't see Mancunian Way as a real problem, more of an excuse for people to use when explaining why some places are a dive. If the underside of the road is cleaned up, brightly lit and the surrounding buildings made nice then there is no reason why everything can't exist together.
 

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As a final point... had they built the actual original inner ring road and not bothered with anything else inside it we would have had a high capacity road and a much larger space for the city centre to expand into!

 
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