We could change all the 'street furniture', as it seems to be called. Smarten up the lamposts. Sort out the signs. But, to be honest, they're not really the problem. And how exciting can a one way sign be, anyway?
The problem is that many - okay, let's be honest, the overwhelming majority - of houses have really shabby frontages with poorly kept gardens. I'm not saying that to criticise the owners. I dare say if I owned a house it would have a shabby frontage with a poorly kept garden.
The point is that this is why the state will never be able to fix local communities. We're not dealing with a public space - the public space is utilitarian but basically fine. The problem is with the collection of private spaces. Only the owners can decide to make them look pleasant, and only they can put in the effort to make it so.
I think the problem of front gardens sets limits to the influence of the state in all sorts of areas of life. I guess that's why I'm a Tory.