What's to Come of America's Pedestrian Malls?

In a pictorial essay, Mark Byrnes chronicles the uneven legacy of 50 years of pedestrian malls, and the uncertain future for a redevelopment tool that has been derided in some cities and celebrated in others.
May 7, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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As the movement for complete streets gains momentum across the country, and streets that solely facilitated the flow of automobiles are being redesigned to accommodate a variety of modes, it seems like a good time to consider whether streets conceived of solely for pedestrians should also be rethought.

Byrnes traces the genesis of America's pedestrian malls to the building of the Kalamazoo Mall, designed by no less than enclosed mall pioneer Victor Gruen. Although the fate of Kalamazoo's mall, which became a sore spot with residents and was reopened to traffic in 1998, was shared by many cities and towns who experimented with the concept, success stories such as the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and Miami's Lincoln Road Mall muddy the pedestrian mall's legacy.

Byrnes has assembled a slide show of some of the remaining pedestrian malls in cities across the country, such as Sacramento, Boulder, and Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Published on Friday, May 4, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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