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Friday, September 20, 2002
The worst street

Streatham High Street (High Road) has been designated/voted the country's worst street as a result of BBC Radio's Today programme and the 'Street of Shame' competition organised by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. The place seems a good choice.

More remarkably, perhaps, is the choice of the second street: Cornmarket, Oxford. There is something strange about this. Cornmarket is a pedestrian precinct, for heaven's sake. While I agree that the resurfacing of Cornmarket has been a disaster, at least the place is traffic-free.

How did Cornmarket score so well (I mean badly)? Is it the proliferation of fast food places? Is it pressure from the local trade organisations that want pedestrianisation reversed? Is it innate academic conservatism or have people got the resurfacing problem quite out of proportion?

Cornmarket, compared to Streatham High St (Rd), is paradise on Earth.

[Sorry about the indirectness of the picture links - I've left out the Javascript versions. Letters of thanks should be written on the sides of piles of Franklins and sent to me - Josh.]

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