Page:Old Towns and New Needs.djvu/42

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OLD TOWNS AND NEW NEEDS

crossing of the Thames, and of treating the reconstruction of the city as all that was necessary. It was many years before the further bridges came and even now we have never got used to the sufficiently obvious fact that Southwark and the Borough are very intimate and very near portions of our town. The sinuosities of the Thames are constantly forgotten, and it is a perfect marvel to me that hardly anyone recognises the importance of the fact that in crossing Westminster Bridge, though we thereby approach the south side of the Thames, we are travelling due east, so that a continuation of the line of the bridge would produce a road capable of leading almost direct from Westminster to the city. It is now an old hope of my own that a road may be constructed on the Surrey side (preferably as a viaduct crossing over other main roads) which shall lead easily and with great dignity from the residential quarters of the west to the heart of the banking centre, thus relieving the great east and west pressure at much less expense than would attend the construction of any relief road on the north side of the Thames.

In this connection I may draw attention to another prime essential in the formation of new or enlarged thoroughfares in old towns. The Traffic Commission of 1905 suggested among other things two new main avenues, one east and west, the other north and south. But they laid them down, tentatively, without any regard to the value and beauty of existing ancient buildings. A plan made by me in 1906 shows how these proposed routes could have been modified in such a way as to destroy no buildings of architectural