This comment is taken directly from one of the many adverse comments about Exhibition Road following Rowan Moore's article on Exhibition Road. The Dame reproduces it because it succinctly and intelligently sums up the problems.
"I visited the finished "shared space" a couple of weeks ago. The expensive, patterned granite was already being dug up by a utility company just north of the Underground station. The area south of Cromwell Road is meant to be used for loading and unloading by commercial vehicles delivering to the shops and restaurants only - cars were ignoring this and parking in the middle.
As I crossed Cromwell Road, going north, the main impression I got was that I'd stepped into a car park. There are 52 residents' car parking spaces along the middle of Exhibition Road in this section. RBK&C have kindly provided benches in-between the parked cars - benches made of very rough wood in which there are visible splinters. Walking further north, a white van travelling south did a u-turn between a gap in the car park and right through the "pedestrian" area, scattering pedestrians.
There is, apparently, a roundabout at the junction with Prince Consort Road, but every vehicle I observed drove straight through the middle of it. That's what happens when you merely paint two concentric circles on the highway. Exhibition Road north of Prince Consort Road also has car parking, on both sides of the street.
The mock-ups of what Exhibition Road would look like when it was finished were extremely misleading; rather than a wide expanse of open space for pedestrians to wander at will, cars are still given priority, whether moving or parked."
Helen on the Bus