Leicester is a small East Midlands city that has been steadily building an outsize reputation for transportation innovation and reform. Before the discovery of King Richard III’s 15th Century skeleton under a church parking lot, Streetsblog called Leicester “The Liveable Streets Leader You’ve Never Heard Of.” More recently, The Guardian named Leicester “The UK’s Unlikely New Poster City for Cycling.”
With a population of 330,000, Leicester ranks highly in Europe in pedestrian-only street mileage per person. In 2014, the city tore down a 1960s-era highway fly-over and is steadily redesigning other people-repelling, car-only roadways near the city center. The city recently expanded its already-large pedestrian zone and has steadily added to its network of separated bike lanes and paths. It also recently constructed an attractive central bus station to organize the regional transit system and open more street space for walking and cycling.
Leicester’s Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby has been the leader of the city’s street reclamation effort since his election in 2011. He join joined TransitCenter over lunch and presented the city’s transportation successes, challenges and vision for the future.