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Would you support the idea of turning part of downtown into a pedestrian mall?

Response Percent Votes
Yes
 
51% 702
No
 
42% 583
Not sure
 
5% 81
Total 1366

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Turning Mass Street into a pedestrian mall will cost taxpayers many many many many millions. And will likely hurt sales. So this is how the super majority will guard our tax dollars? maybe just campaign rhetoric.

I have spent plenty of time in Boulder "on the hill" before and after the pedestrian Mall.

Boulder may have seemed like the Ped Mall was a success. But "the Hill" is located more or less across the road from the university. KU is not more or less across the road from Downtown Lawrence.

Boulder Attractions: *Trout fishing and inner-tubing near downtown Boulder

*Boulder Fights to Save Wide Open Spaces

*"The Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid: The Winning 25" (Boulder ranked #1)

  • "Cities with the Highest Ratio of Artists in the Country" - (Boulder ranked #6) National Endowment for the Arts

  • July 2008, "Top 25 Arts Destinations" - (small city category; Boulder ranked #8) American Style magazine, Aug. 2008,

*"Top 100 Destinations in the World" - Trip Advisor, April 2008

*"Top 25 Destinations in the U.S." - Trip Advisor, April 2008

*"Top 10 World's Greener Cities" - Urban Land Green magazine, Spring 2008

*"Best Green Places to Live in America" - (Boulder ranked #5), Country Home magazine, March 2008

*"Smartest Cities in America" - (Boulder ranked #1), Forbes magazine, February 2008

Boulder attracts millions of tourists year round due to many obvious reasons besides all of the above. Summer weather is quite pleasant,fall colors in the mountains is quite pleasant,winter in the mountains is quite pleasant and spring is awesome. Boulder also has a great library.

Like I said Boulder and Lawrence are two different animals

"Best Places for Business and Careers" (Boulder ranked #20) - Forbes magazine, March 2009.... In Lawrence the powers that be are always trying to put people out of business by allowing this small town to accumulate more than a million additional square feet of retail than small town Lawrence can support.

While Lawrence has fine attributes it is not Boulder,Colorado.

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 8 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "One of the complaints of downtown merchants is not having enough outdoor space. Getting rid of the street would mean that retailers could have plenty of outdoor space."

Which downtown merchants? Can you provide a citation?

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

Parsons has a whopping 11,000 people and appears to have been a poor fit for a pedestrian mall.

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juliedanurse 4 years, 8 months ago

No way - It killed downtown Parsons. My family has been there for generations, and we watched thriving community become a ghost town.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

how about cars & vehicles that get over 35mpg park for free?

they could have a sticker like a K-tag which would validate their high mpg discount on parking.

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

One of the complaints of downtown merchants is not having enough outdoor space. Getting rid of the street would mean that retailers could have plenty of outdoor space.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

It ain't broke, don't fix it!

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thelonious 4 years, 8 months ago

BrentS -

So well said. Seems to me like Lawrence has hit on a solid middle path - ped friendly without throwing cars under the bus (no pun intended). It doesn't have to be peds or cars, folks - it can be both, already is in Lawrence, why mess with that? So much black and white thinking in the world today.....sigh.

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BrentS 4 years, 8 months ago

What's the benefit? Downtown Lawrence is one of the few commercial downtowns I have seen that manages to be pedestrian-friendly without being car-hostile. Making a whole lot of hot pavement available for pedestrians isn't going to solve many problems, and it'll create a ton of others -- parking, access, traffic on bypass streets, etc.

It ain't broke, don't fix it!

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

I find it interesting that people who won't walk 100' to get to a downtown business will happily walk 500' to get into a soulless box store.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Whoever said that this concept has to be a government one? Get the Chamber, Downtown Lawrence, etc.. involved. Maybe there are grants available. Its very doable, people just don't want change in Lawrence, which is why I don't live there anymore.

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MacHeath 4 years, 8 months ago

Love it, or hate it, there are a lot of people in this community, that will not go downtown because they have had bad experiences finding good parking places.
Unless the city can divine a plan to provide adequate parking, this plan will fail. I can't really see an answer to this. Expensive elevated Parking garages? Where?

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

The Broadway thing is an experiment through the end of the year. If they like it, they'll keep it. Otherwise, it gets traffic on it again.

One problem with a lot of the failed ped malls was that they didn't have nearby residential, so there was no one downtown after dark, making the mall a scary place. We won't have that problem here in Lawrence.

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Ernest Barteldes 4 years, 8 months ago

No problem with me. I live in New York, where they have redesigned Broadway as one huge green area for bikes, tables and facilities for pedestrians. The traffic got worse, but those who don't drive are having a ball...

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75x55 4 years, 8 months ago

Boulder fans - does this town support a large number of expensive boutique stores?

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couranna1 4 years, 8 months ago

Good idea with one big parking where the cops can sit and give a BA to all the people leaving

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George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

No, the parking problem hasn't been "blown way out of proportion." People who work downtown daily don't even park in the long-term lots. They just spew into the neighborhoods and park for eight or ten hours. Bob Schumm is one of the worst offenders with his "Buffalo" truck.

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says… The parking issue is blown way out of proportion. There are creative ways to make it happen.

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headdoctor 4 years, 8 months ago

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says… Did you ever think that maybe we will pay less taxes if more money is pumped into the local economy?


Umm, no. Ever meet a politician at any level of government that can't spend more money than is taken in? What I find amusing is all government groups including schools are upset and cutting their budgets. Ever wonder why, if they can cut the budgets now and make it what have they been doing all the past years?

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

The parking issue is blown way out of proportion. There are creative ways to make it happen. Shuttle from Johnnys maybe. If the City would have bought large passenger vans instead of those big polluting buses, we could have had a lot more routes and they would have been easier to drive in traffic, thus quicker times to destinations. So don't lie to me about parking-you just don't want the concept. I hear about all of this taxes crap again. Did you ever think that maybe we will pay less taxes if more money is pumped into the local economy?

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

a pedestrian mall does not really compensate for retail sprawl, 2 Wal-Marts, and a lack of jobs in the community.

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

If the parking garage ends up being a few spots short, add a deck, or build a similar structure in place of the surface lot in the 800 block of Vermont. That gets folks closer to the north end of downtown without having to ride the trolley. Issue passes to downtown employees so they have a specific place to park that doesn't inconvenience shoppers.

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SouthWestKs 4 years, 8 months ago

Not only NO, but HELL NO!!!!!!

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RiverCityConservative 4 years, 8 months ago

I think the downtown area is already better than an outdoor or indoor mall. I remember the successful campaign to save the Lawrence downtown in 1980. It's a great downtown. To "maul" it would be akin to a third Quantrill raid. Save downtown Lawrence! There's nothing like it anywhere within 200 miles.

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headdoctor 4 years, 8 months ago

I am amazed at how many people have all these great ideas for property that they do not own. While the tax payers might pick up some of the tab for a change, The property/business owners will be picking up the tab for the rest and if it fails, who really loses? I am positive that you who are full of ideas will not be there to pay the bills when the money isn't coming back in to pay off the debt.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't think this would be that successful but of course those folks who live and work downtown and those who hang out at the coffee joints all day long might love it. I love our downtown but the parking garage should have been twice at big and the homeless folks should be in Ithaca, NY or Boulder, CO.

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George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

I know Aggieville isn't just bars but there is a pretty high concentration of what's open at night.

Isn't the parking issue alone enough reason to blow this idea out of the water? Where would the parking be? Can't go north because of the river, can't go west because of Old West Lawrence Neighborhood, can't go east because of East Lawrence Neighborhood, and you can't go south becase of South Park.

Maybe just repealing the laws of gravity and having vehicles hover is the answer.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

What aspects other then parking would make it a nightmare? Or are you just against it because its change.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

George, Aggieville is not just bars.

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George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

That intersection is like driving through a worm hole. When I'm there I always wonder where the hell I am. Omaha, Lenexa, St. Louis, Chicago, Wichita ----- it all looks something you'd see coming off any interstate exit in the midwest.

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… I went through the 6th & Wakarusa intersection last night. I might as well have been in Olathe. Ug-ly.

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Waddetreeusconsumers 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes...this is a good move for the city of lawrence .
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George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

Turning downtown into another Aggieville is precisely why this is an extremely bad idea. Oh, JUST parking issues? It would be a stinking nightmare.


edjayhawk (Anonymous) says…

Just look at the popularity of Aggieville. The only issue I could see would be parking.

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toe 4 years, 8 months ago

Any idea driven by government will fail. Let the consumer drive the choice.

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vicblthndr 4 years, 8 months ago

THE CITY MANAGERS ARE ALREADY PREPARING TO DISTROY THE DOWN TOWN AS WE KNOW IT WITH ALL THEIR INCREASES AND PARKING RESTRICTIONS. IN FIVE YEARS DOWN TOWN WILL BE A MEMORY, WHETHER YOU MAKE IT A WALKING AREA OR NOT.MEITHER WAY, IT WILL BE SLOWLY DESTROYE. TO SAVE IT. FREE PARKING.

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Ceallach 4 years, 8 months ago

Course, Bolder does have that beauty thing going for it :)

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

The amount of population doesn't really mean anything. Build it and they will come. At one time Boulder had the population of Lawrence and it did just fine.

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malehrman 4 years, 8 months ago

State Street in Madison, WI may be a better model for Lawrence than Boulder. The street is closed to all vehicle traffic except taxis, buses, emergency vehicles and bicycles. This increases public usage of mass transit. There are also parking garages and several points just off State as well street parking on connecting streets.

Think about all of the extra businesses and attractions that could fit downtown by adding so much extra space.

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Robert Kiefer 4 years, 8 months ago

Tanger factory outlet, 60% empty 40% government use. Riverfront Mall, Sat 50% empty for several years, Now half empty Hotel, Downtown KCK give me a break that eyesore will never be the same. Sure is funny 20 years after downtown cried about the city granting zoning for a "real" business district, now they want to be that district. In the meantime 20 miles east sits Legends. A first class entertainment & retail district that is kicking little leningrad in the rump since it opened. Horizon 2020, What a joke!!!!!!!

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jackbinkelman 4 years, 8 months ago

Population of Boulder, Colorado 293,000. Population of Lawrence, Kansas 90,000. The reason Boulders pedestrian downtown mall works is the 200,000 extra people plus ski/mountain tourists. KU is nice but it isn't enough of an attraction to make it work. Boulder is green. They aren't as concerned about parking, as we are here. I would guess that people bus, bike or walk to the downtown there. We know how the anti T crowd works around here.

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Ceallach 4 years, 8 months ago

Aye, Linda, but their street residents are not.

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OeraLinda 4 years, 8 months ago

boulder has better weather than KS.

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Ceallach 4 years, 8 months ago

Just returned from a trip that included a night in downtown Denver. It is an example of how lovely such a concept is when put into place. I was admiring their vision and enjoying the drive-by until we approached the Sheridan Hotel. I thought there was some sort of public entertainment nearby because of the crowd. Not so. It was evening and the homeless population was setting up house for the night. It was a beautiful night, but leisurely walking around wasn't an option. Most were not gentle folk, just look looking for a place to sleep. They were loud, angry, panhandlers. Berating those who sleep in a hotel; yet would not give them money. Since I was walking a dog I was also treated to the ire of some who thought me disgraceful for caring more about a dog than about people.

However, it might be one way to keep the homeless away from business doors.

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SofaKing 4 years, 8 months ago

Except for the cars, it already is a pedestrian mall.

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alm77 4 years, 8 months ago

Why does this pedestrian mall have to be permanent? Why not just make it one for special occasions? The side walk sale for one, maybe some days in March (to encourage people to go watch the tournament games there), and at Halloween.

It would be a great way to have your cake and eat it too!

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Kim Murphree 4 years, 8 months ago

If it is done RIGHT like Boulder, Colorado...it would be GREAT and actually promote more visitors...but you have to take a look at how it WORKS in other cities that have been successful with that kind of move.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 8 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says…

I went through the 6th & Wakarusa intersection last night. I might as well have been in Olathe. Ug-ly.


Then downtown Oskaloosa should make you absolutely euphoric. Why don't you try it?

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

I went through the 6th & Wakarusa intersection last night. I might as well have been in Olathe. Ug-ly.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

This concept, among with many others, just fortifies my view that Lawrence is not a progressive community and never will. Too many people saying "No" to anything that will better the town. And their cop-out? Taxes. "I don't want to pay taxes for anything unless its my sidewalk, which the city should provide with tax funding." I get sick and tired of the people who say they want Lawrence to be like it was several years ago, or keep it as it is now. Well it will never go back to what it was and the way it is now sucks.

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David Albertson 4 years, 8 months ago

Parking already sucks. Now they want you to park even further away? They REALLY want everybody to go to the new WalMart.

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headdoctor 4 years, 8 months ago

puddleglum (Anonymous) says… can we please elect a city commissioner that isn't all about himself/herself (hack)


Good luck with that. If it isn't about them, it is about the group that is backing them.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

Blue 73-"It would work about as well as the Tanger and Riverfront Malls did. What a joke."

what does lance johnson get out of this? extra business for himself?

can we please elect a city commissioner that isn't all about himself/herself (hack)

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

pedestrian mall=downtown death

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

Parsons tried it. Then, after all the businesses had died, and a tornado ripped through, they brought the cars back in. The downtown Atchison pedestrian district is a ghost town.

If anything needs to be done to improve downtown Lawrence, it is to expand parking towards the north end of Mass Street.

winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 8 months ago

Pedestrian Mall versus Downtown Lawrence:

  1. You park far away from the business you want to go to since there is no parking in front of the business. Check.
  2. Once parked, patrons can walk from business to business. Check.
  3. A small town atmosphere is simulated with green areas and brick walkways. Check.
  4. Pedestrians cross the streets without having to walk 15 feet to a crosswalk. Check.
  5. Unique stores provide a relaxing shopping experience. Check.
  6. A variety of dining and drinking establishments offer shoppers great meals, adult beverages, and places to unwind. Check.
  7. After a championship game, thousands of people can gather in the mall and celebrate. Check.

The list could go on. However, it only demonstrates that Lawrence already has a Downtown Pedestrian Mall - with parking.

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gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

One thing that could be done as a pedestrian mall that can't be done now is the deployment of temporary awnings in inclement weather. That could make rainy-day shopping even better.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

damage to downtown by the approval of a second Wal-Mart. who did that exactly - ask yourselves which City Commissioners and which of their supporters supported the 2nd Wal-Mart, and for which developers interests.

McKibben continues, “None of this even touches the question about what Wal-Mart has done to transfer America jobs abroad, or to sponsor sweatshops around the world. Suffice it to say, our communities suffer.

now we have a plan to repair Wal-Mart damage to Downtown Lawrence?

Why was the second Wal-Mart approved?

the same Chambercrat leadership, don't forget which City Commissioners voted for the second Wal-Mart and please go back and check who their financial supporters were.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

Wal-Mart is what has hurt downtown retail:

Bill McKibben in his book, 'Deep Economy, the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future' needs to be required reading for the City Commission (2007) book.

regarding Wal-Mart, page 106 excerpt,

“The jobs offered by the new Supercenters don't make up the difference, a new Wal-Mart eliminates a job and a half for every job it creates. And, not only are those jobs ill paid, providing minimal benefits, and often abusive, they also drive down everyone else's wages and benefits as employers try to compete across an array of retail categories, but also range from airline tickets to flower arrangements and insurance. Meanwhile taxpayers are covering the health care costs of uninsured Wal-Mart workers and buying school lunches for their children.

A University of Pennsylvania study concluded that counties with Wal-Marts have grown poorer than surrounding counties, and the more Wal-Marts they had, the faster they grew poor. (2007). page 107.

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bronze 4 years, 8 months ago

please leave Massachusetts alone.

improvements or a Farmer's Market Mall on the east would be a better idea!

A Farmer's Market structure and improvements on New Hampshire and the east side of downtown to emphasize the community networking activities of the Farmer's Market will spin off into helping the retail downtown.

Where was Mr. Johnson on the issue of a second Wal-Mart?

wal-mart more than anything else hurts local & community businesses — but pro-developer types approved the second Wal-Mart knowing full well that it would hurt downtown and 23rd street retail areas.

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tatchity 4 years, 8 months ago

I just got back from a trip to Boulder, CO. Pearl Street is the towns main drag, and about 5 blocks of it is pedestrian only. I absolutely loved it, it was very pleasant and very busy. I don't know if Lawrence could support a similar set-up, but it would be very cool

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SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 8 months ago

Government picks winners and losers when it includes some businesses in a pedestrian mall and leaves others out. Just hope you're business isn't left out.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 8 months ago

Not living in Lawrence, I really don't have a strong opinion, but I remember when they changed Mass. St. significantly years ago with those little "sticking-out," landscaped obstructions, and that totally spoiled it for me, then.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to turn one side street into a pedestrian mall, but it certainly wouldn't be an improvement, in my opinion. I keep reading about how the Lawrence City Fathers "want to bring business back downtown." Maybe it is already too late to pull people back there, but I doubt that making a pedestrian mall is the way to go. Making Lawrence more "cutesy" is not what is needed.

I do my major shopping in Grand Jct., Colo., where they did much the same with their Main Street as that earlier change on Mass. St., and they have lost so much business to GJ's mall. I never go downtown in GJ anymore, even though there are some good shops down there.

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blue73harley 4 years, 8 months ago

It would work about as well as the Tanger and Riverfront Malls did. What a joke.

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50YearResident 4 years, 8 months ago

Kill if swiftly, make it into a pedestrian mall. Take out 150 parking spaces so people will have to walk in. Make downtown one of those places where "you can't get there from here".

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Too bad "hell yeah" isn't one of the options!

Go to Ithaca, NY, or Boulder CO for examples of ped malls that work.

Also, the city needs to seize the blighted building at 11th and Mass (just south of the Granada) by imminent domain and convert that to parking.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Pedestrian Mall would increase traffic to local businesses. You could have live entertainment, food vendors, artists, etc..that would offset it being just a bar district. Just look at the popularity of Aggieville. The only issue I could see would be parking.

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bkranch 4 years, 8 months ago

In my 50+ years of living and traveling, I have never seen a dowtown "pedestiran" mall be successful. Out of town visitors are not likely to go to the trouble of trying to find a parking spot, (already an issue) and then go walking to discover whats available downtown. They are going to want to drive through it, see something that intrests them, and then park and explore.

In inclement weather; rain, snow, etc.. nobody would be downtown, it would be empty. At least now shoppers can park directly in front of a businesses and get inside quickly.

Lawrence is well known for its wonderful unique downtown shopping. Maybe the commision should consider financial incentives to attract more business to fill some "temporary" vacancies that are there now.

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ashmole 4 years, 8 months ago

Parsons tried it. Then, after all the businesses had died, and a tornado ripped through, they brought the cars back in. The downtown Atchison pedestrian district is a ghost town.

If anything needs to be done to improve downtown Lawrence, it is to expand parking towards the north end of Mass Street.

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John Kyle 4 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence tried the downtown mall before. Remember. Leave downtown alone. This is one of the best downtowns in Kansas if not the whole midwest.

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OonlyBonly 4 years, 8 months ago

Look back to what happened to downtown Kansas City, KS folks. It'll never recover!

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