Make the most of our LTNs!

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How do we use our low traffic streets to build a stronger, more liveable community? Your neighbours need you, your ideas and a little bit of your energy!

Walkable Cowley / 15-minute Cowley

How many people went for a walk during lockdown and said to themselves “I hadn’t noticed that before?” or “I wish I’d known that was there before!” If that was you, then we need your help.

We’re designing maps, temporary signage, and figuring out how we can use the Street Tag to support local businesses. Your support could be as little as pointing out a spot that needs some improved signage for walking shortcuts to the shops or the park.

If you’d like to find out more, then please get in touch with Liveable Cowley here.

Share your ideas and help make them happen

Do you have another idea? Do you need others to help make it a reality?

Active Oxfordshire are inviting you and other residents to a virtual meeting ‘Encouraging Cycling & Walking in Cowley: Community Ideas’ on Wednesday 14 April at 8pm (invite link here)

The meeting will focus on positive ‘calls to action’, and community activation NOT infrastructure. It will focus on “what is strong” – and how to build on those things – not “what is wrong”.

Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Park are blessed by an amazing range of community assets, including our parks, nurseries, schools, community centres, religious establishments, shops, cafés and pubs. How can we make it easier, for more people to reach these more easily? 

Another of Cowley’s strengths is our ideas, skills and time to make these things happen — as anyone who has walked through Florence Park and admired the chalkings will know. We’ve also heard others speak of so many other great ideas; with an Easter Egg Hunt on the horizon.

If you have an idea, that makes it easier, or safer, to travel actively in Cowley; or an idea like the Easter Egg hunt that might show us all what is possible in encouraging community activity with less traffic on our streets, then we’d like you to share it. Once you do, we’ll look to connect you and existing resources that might be able to help make it happen.

Active Oxfordshire know there are lots of ideas in this community, so if you have an idea you’d like to share at the meeting, then e-mail Josh Lenthall so they can form an agenda that gives everyone the opportunity to take part.

You’ll also hear more about the Walkable Cowley activation projects.

We know that there are a number of ideas already mentioned by Cowley residents that duplicate existing activities or opportunities and therefore we need to share those opportunities more widely. While they may already be in action, all these opportunities would benefit from more support or resource from our community. Here are three examples:

1. The Ready Set Go campaign works to get children and families more active through swimming and cycling

So far Oxford Hub have supported children and families to learn how to ride a bike by providing them access to equipment and free cycling tuition where needed. It is also providing locks, lights and helmets for riders that don’t have them. They are aiming to reach lots more children and families through this campaign. More details here

2. Joyriders Oxford. The idea for JoyRiders started in London in 2016 following the introduction of Waltham Forest ‘mini-Holland’ schemes. They asked why so few women rode bikes – and set about changing this with social rides for a range of skills, confidence levels and distances, combined with coffee and cake. By JoyRiders’ third year, 730 women participated. Now Oxford will have the first chapter of JoyRiders outside London. For more information contact Annette

3. Street Tag. Children and their families from schools across the county have been using Street Tag to keep active by walking and cycling during lockdown. The Walkable Cowley project is working with Street Tag to test out two new functions.

Firstly, pictured, is Tag Broadcast, it’s a way of creating more, real life feedback on the infrastructure that supports (or does not support) walking and cycling in our City.

Second is Street Tag Business – an incentive scheme that encourages local use of neighbourhood shops and shows those shops just how many people walk or cycle to their store.

We’ve also heard people suggesting an app pointing out the history of the neighbourhood – that’s also something Street Tag can do !