Pedestrian mall at night

I’m not in Fresno this week. But I am somewhere with a pedestrian mall that not all are happy with. Indeed, sometimes people suggest letting the cars in. Many times, these are folks that don’t actually visit the area, and probably wouldn’t if that was changed.

Sounds familiar right?

Yet even on a cold and rainy evening, the place was bursting with life. I decided to remain under the shelter of the Macy’s sidewalk ceiling while waiting for a friend. Many however did not bother to use the sidewalk, even though it offered more protection from the weather.

Would be nice to see this in Fresno.

Not pictured: The festive holiday noises.




5 Replies to “Pedestrian mall at night”

  1. Boston's Downtown Crossing is easily the most successful example of a pedestrian mall in the United States.

    The vast majority of pedestrian malls that were tried here–have failed. Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, for example. I don't think Fresno's is any different.

    Perhaps the better move would be to turn that mall into shared space?

  2. Building a pedestrian or transit mall is not always a good idea. To work, one must already be surrounded by a critical mass of pedestrians. But if it’s used to revitalize a declining street, it will only accelerate that street’s decline by further isolating it.

    That said, the most overdue of these potential malls in America is Market Street in San Francisco. It’s the city’s most heavily trafficked one for transit, bikes and pedestrians. But it is now being congested by automobiles, which are mostly driven by people looking for parking—even though there’s none on the street. These autos should be disallowed, so that Market becomes a transit mall. To read about what the city is doing to encourage this visit:

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