Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
Around new building developments there are sometimes junctions with no road. The kerbstones curve round beautifully and then there’s a fence, temporary or permanent.
What are these junctions called? Do they have a name?
Why do they exist? What do they mean? What do they offer?
They are a source of great intrigue (to me at least). They sit there quietly and benignly but they have been built and put there on purposes. The intrigue raises questions. What are they called? Do they have a name? Why do these exist? Why has the effort gone in to making these junctions that are of no use (yet)? Are they just a passing contemporary aspect of new housing developments or have they been happening for decades?
I have searched with DuckDuckGo’s and Google’s help to no avail. I have scoured the government’s “Road guidelines for new developments”. The closest I found was “ghost islands” - those right-hand turn lanes separated from the main thoroughfare. These T-Junctions with a missing arm are definitely not ghosts, they fully exist and have a physical presence.
Is it for planning permission that developers are required to build with future development in mind? Is it so the kerbstones and road surface match the rest? Is it cheaper to build now with the future development in mind? Were the original plans more extensive and are now watered down but the planning process prohibits removal of these junctions? Is it a legacy of planning permission or building controls and the way developers are interpreting them.
Over to you
What would you call these junctions? e.g. ghost junction, future proofing etc. Add you suggestions using Twitter and hashtag #endoftheroadahead or directly to @e_o_t_r_a.
What does anyone who sees one regularly think of it? Do they mind it being there? Do they derive any pleasure from seeing it? For those that dislike them, how have we arrived in a place where they are allowed to exist? How can we rebalance the look of a place with the economics of hard landscaping in a place? For those that like them, how can we celebrate them more? What can we say to make the ‘dislikers’ more accepting?
At what cost aesthetically for people living in and visiting the area today? What do they say of the systemic failing for the current, or soon-to-be, residents? The economic strength of the landowner and property developer being stronger than the visual appearance and tidiness. Yes, my view is these junctions should not exist. I try to find some pleasure from them but I am concerned by what they represent. The economic or legal requirement to have them is an assumption based on it must surely be cheaper not to build them so there must be some reason for them that benefits the developers. The lack of respect for current residents or visitors is part of it but, further, how does it engender a positive sense of place and respect for the area?
Why are these images collectible? They are more perhaps or perhaps not more niche than train spotting. They represent something not seen, a journey backward or forward, or both. They are each different yet still pointless in the here and now of literal use. They provide a strange situation for contemplation - of a path one could take but are discouraged or prevented from yet could, with suitable permissions or money turn into a brand new path for many. When they’re gone though that church of contemplation for oneself will be gone. Collect them whilst you can and enable further contemplation.
How do people living near these promises regard them? Do they feel excited by the prospect of what may come next? Do they mind the bald aesthetics of a lump of concrete or misaligned temporary fencing?
They seem somehow different from boarded-up shops in a town centre, a place that has seen more prosperous times. They seem to offer a promise of a future, a route to escape, a way forward. They are more than remnants of a design; they are the promise of something yet to be built. They represent someone’s intentions for the future; hard-landscaping for the next phase of making a mark on the land; dominating nature to facilitate movement of people. What were the plans? Are they still likely? Will the junction be erased and the curving kerbstones discarded, replaced with straight ones that eradicate the path to somewhere never to be?
They seem somehow like a seaside pier in the off-season. The excitement of possibility tempting you forward whilst knowing there’s a dead-end; a point beyond which it’s impractical - but not impossible - to travel beyond. The unknown of what is to be discovered, both exhilarating and anxiety-making all at the same time.
Over to you
Do you have any near you? Please post a comment on Instagram with a link to your photo and letting me know if I can post your photo on the endoftheroadahead Instagram account.
This is the end of the road ahead. The road ahead is clear. Name, collect, contemplate and share.