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Letters to the Editor

Mall mistake

October 29, 2009

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To the editor:

Closing downtown streets for a pedestrian mall is a bad idea. Lawrence city commissioners should do a study on what St. Charles, Mo., did to its downtown in the late 1970s. They closed a segment of a street and made it into a park, which hurt businesses. A few years later, the city was aware of the mistake and made it back into a street.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

The Boulder situation is unique in that it is situated in the middle of a high level of college foot traffic/student residential. Tons of students basically have to pass through this area.

Downtown Lawrence is not that unique situation.

I have spent time in Boulder before and after. Personally I enjoyed "the hill" more as a street. Then again I was always located nearby if not in the rockies so it was nothing to dwell on for very long.

Parking could be prohibited on Mass without going to the extreme expense of laying brick. Placing giant planters throughout would provide a pleasant ambiance. Planters could be used to block off either ends of the blocks which at the same time still provides for a variety of uses. Leaving the east-west streets open is a must. Landscape Landscape Landscape.

It is it is my opinion that vans,full size pick-ups and all suv's should be prohibited from parking on Mass due to substantial obstruction of view when backing out.

Want to create more business in downtown instead of destroying downtown as a family friendly experience? Bring in Lands End,Banana Republic,Old Navy, Sony Style and Apple. Although I've heard Banana Republic declined an offer due to our over saturated retail space throughout Lawrence. 3-4 of these stores are located in the plaza so might fit perfect in our downtown. The more new foot traffic the better for Mom and Pops as well.

Also make plans for two sidewalk sales next year. One in April and one in October while students and locals are NOT on vacation.

Next summer make plans for a two day massive event on Mass Street that includes Art,Music,local food suppliers/farmers,micro brewers and local nurseries. Try to schedule the event on days when things are quiet in the KCMO/JOCO metro.

In general I agree with the letter writer.

grimpeur 5 years, 1 month ago

After they find out why St. Charles failed, the commissioners should study Charlottesville, VA, and Boulder, CO, both examples of successful downtown malls. So what is the author's true complaint?

Lawrence already has some of the cheapest, most plentiful, and best-located downtown parking in the nation, including massive surface lots and a 495-space garage located within three blocks of all downtown destinations. This garage is rarely more than half full.

Of course, if the unspoken "problem" is that it would no longer be possible to park 20 feet from the door, or that one might have to walk 5 minutes, then we have more serious problems.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Be sure to wear cheerful bright clothing while walking through the ghost town that used to be Lawrence.

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't like Idea A. Here is one example of when something similar to Idea A didn't work somewhere else almost 40 years ago. There, my point is proved.

It's not going to destroy downtown businesses to have a pedestrian mall for a block or two, and it's not going to destroy anyone's spirit (or health) to have to park a block away and walk. In fact, people tend to browse stores longer when their cars aren't 20 feet away to make a quick getaway.

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