Bring Cars In, Or Keep Cars Out?

In some cases, argues Yonah Freemark, it makes more sense to bring cars into your downtown than to keep them out. Freemark visits Raleigh, North Carolina, where the city opened its pedestrian-only downtown to cars with some success.
August 13, 2010, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Freemark writes, "Downtown Raleigh used to be a real nine-to-five place, the sort of American inner-city that managed to attract a fine lunch crowd but a much smaller group for dinner, and an even tighter circle for anything after that. Like the central business districts of many state capitals, North Carolina's was plagued by its almost overwhelming reliance on office workers, its few residents, and its decided lack of street life.

Part of the problem, it seemed, was the presence of a pedestrian mall at the center of the city on Fayetteville Street. Much as in other U.S. cities, Raleigh planners had assumed that moving cars off the city's main drag would improve quality of life and expand business, but the result was unfortunately frequently the opposite. By the early 2000s, the Fayetteville Street Mall was downright dour at night."

Thanks to Next American City

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Published on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 in Next American City
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