A set of bold new plans have shown what Liverpool's famous Lark Lane could look like in the future.
They include new 'gateways' inspired by the Chinese arch, an 'urban square', wider pavements and permanent kiosks.
Graham Marshall, 59, is an urban designer and committee member of the Lark Lane Neighborhood Association.
He has shown the ECHO plans for what the next few years could hold for the lane, if the plans can secure the necessary funding and support from Liverpool Council.
In the official action plan outlining possible developments to the area, Lark Lane is described as an "urban jewel" that's currently "failing to shine".
A project to transform the area says it will attract more people, while still preserving the heritage and character.
Graham said: "With some funding from the Mayor, we have been able to produce an action plan for the next 10 years.
"It has a wide range of deliverable small-scale projects that will help lift this high street and others in the city after this pandemic has subsided."
Below are some of the proposed developments that Graham and the Lark Lane Neighbourhood Association hope to discuss with Joe Anderson in the near future.
One of the proposed changes is a St Michael's and city gateway feature that would be visible to those travelling along Aigburth Road.
The action plan says: " Sefton Park extends into the surrounding townscape with a number of significant gateway features.
"It would be valuable to extend this influence of the park along Lark Lane to Aigburth Road, creating new gateways at key points.
"Markers are important, and significant cities like Liverpool need significant markers."
Using the examples of the Chinese Arch in the city centre, the plan suggests a number of these gateway markers could be used along Lark Lane to highlight the different areas.
An urban square
Another interesting idea put forward is to use the land where Lark Lane meets Aigburth Road and the potential development of the clinic site, to deliver a "unique urban square".
This area could host pop-up commercial shops, a musicians' corner and provide a space to "host a range of different markets".
Graham feels this area, in particular, is in need of redevelopment as currently, it's just a "lump of highway space, cut off over 40 years ago and abandoned. It's not a great entrance to anywhere, let along this iconic street and Grade I Listed Park."
Sharing the space alongside an urban square could be a row of permanent kiosks.
According to the action plan: "Permanent kiosks along the northern side of this market square would provide low-cost space for new shops, opportunities for start-ups and help connect the business activity in the Lane and Aigburth Road Improving the pedestrian environment."
The Neighbourhood Association believe kiosks would work to offset the loss of local, independent shops to more profitable restaurants and bars.
Widening the pavements
By removing the parking spaces on one side of the street, the plan proposes a "pavement café culture" can be developed reminiscent of those found in the districts of Paris.
Wider pavements and changes to traffic would allow more "fun with new furniture along with the involvement of artists will reinforce this creative village within our Capital of Culture."
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Greater integration with Sefton Park
Described as "tired" and "underwhelming" the entrance to Sefton Park from Lark Lane is set for a transformation that would result in the park becoming more integrated.
The plan proposes that: "Continuing the pavements flush across the park road will effectively create a traffic calming table and reinforce the theme of pedestrian priority.
"The entrance to the park is also tired and underwhelming with inappropriate paving for the volume of foot and cycle traffic entering it.
"A simple scheme pulling this gateway together is all that is required, and the integration of public art would be a great enhancement for both the Park and the Lane."
This would allow the edge of the Park to hold regular arts and makers markets, even one-off annual and festive events.
Graham says there should be a greater drive towards environmentally friendly modes of transport that helps to protect our respiratory health because of the current health crisis.
Increased cycling facilities, along with the proposal to create a "continuous paving area" along the length of the lane, in the plan aim to help protect residential streets off the lane from illegal parking and "reinforce pedestrian priority, reduce the dominance of the highway and create a safer environment."
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As the majority of the properties in the streets that run off Lark Lane are terraced houses with limited space, the plans also propose "secure storage shelters" could be placed in the street to store bikes and reduce the need for car ownership as reducing cars contributes to an "overall higher quality environment."
The plans were signed off at a committee meeting in February, and now they’re just waiting for the current health crisis to pass so that work can start again trying to secure funding and convince Liverpool Council that the project is a worthwhile one.