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Photo #172064

[Update: The cones disappeared when the scaffolding on the Library disappeared in August 2021. The bent cycle rack remains wonky.] [Image taken 15.7.21] Library Square, York. (See also: #167118) Following the closure of the council offices here and their conversion into high-priced housing, this area became a space for people, repose, encounters and conversations. It was characterised by the number and variety of cycles and the passage of people of all ages between them and the library entrance. Benches invited people to linger and enhanced the people-friendly atmosphere and underpinned the conversations not cars vibe. But during the corona pandemic (2020-21) this has changed. I believe the cones are here in response to the arrivals and exits of myriad food collection and delivery vehicles. Taxi drivers also now set down and collect fares here. Motorists in private vehicles drop off/pick up family members. The police have used it for checking events. Drivers are under pressure, they need to turn round, space is limited, the racks are vulnerable. But so are people and I am not sure this space can return to the community haven it was pre-covid. The number of vehicles entering and leaving seems to continue to increase. Why would you sit somewhere that has a constant view, sound and smell of motor vehicles arriving and leaving? It seems this space is part of the city centre the council has recently consulted on. It’s the only part of the centre I am interested in going to. But getting to and from it is unpleasant and polluted, noisy and intimidating. And since early 2020, the being there is the same. Another area colonised by motor vehicles and lost to community-building and traffic-free space. Other images today: #172057 and links. More recent image: #173304

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