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Pedestrian Malls



I think the general LGM consensus on urban planning is pretty similar to many progressives today, which is that cars are mostly bad for cities and walking is mostly good for them. But this piece and video on the disaster that is Fresno’s pedestrian mall and how tearing it up and allowing some auto access might be a good idea rings true to me. That’s because I remember Eugene’s pedestrian mall which turned downtown into a no man’s land except for skaters, junkies, and the homeless all the way from when I remember the city as a small child until I left after I graduated from college in 1996. Some years later, the city tore up the mall, allowed auto traffic, and downtown exploded into a hub of activity that shocks me every time I visit. I don’t know why precisely it worked, but it surely did work. So there may well be times where introducing cars might help a dead downtown revitalize. Obviously that’s not the same as turning everything into a Dallas suburb, but I think the relationship between cars and downtown is complex.

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