We’ve supported the Moseley and Kings Heath Playing Out group to open streets for play on National Play Day with great success for the last two years and we’ll be doing that again in 2015, but what we’d really like to see is residential streets across Birmingham closing to motor traffic and opening for play on a regular basis. The exciting news is that council leaders who support our initiative have invited us to discuss how we can give Birmingham residents this power over their own streets.
We are following the lead of the Playing Out organisation in Bristol, who worked with the council there to introduce Temporary Play Street Orders that allow residents to hold one-off or regular road closures through a process that is simple and free. If the idea of street play causes you any concerns, this page is recommended reading.
If you’d like to do this on your street, then please get in touch with us. You can do this by commenting below, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the great features of Playing Out is that residents come together to make it happen, so you’ll need to muster some willing helpers on your street. Take a look at playingout.net for an introduction to how Playing Out works and lots of information and resources.
Quiet residential roads and cul-de-sacs are very easy to close, and in fact residents on these kinds of streets have been known to close their roads by mutual agreement simply by placing a parked car or bin to block the open ends of the road. We’d like to make this possible for those who live on busier roads, bus routes and even A roads, so please do get in touch even if your road is ‘hard to close’; these are exactly the kind of test cases that we need to solve to make street play available to as many children, and adults, as possible across the city.