Permanent Promenade on Dunlop Street (Clapperton to Mulcaster)
Santa Monica, California's 3rd Street Promenade is a prime example of what could happen to revitalize our downtown core and rid it of the seedy elements and violence at night that are concerning visitors.
Formerly sketchy 3rd Street in CA. turned into a bustling strolling and shopping hotspot with cafes, kiosks down the centre of the street, twinkling lights, fountains, topiaries and buskers. Look at some of these photos.
It became so popular that shops and restaurants stayed open in the evenings. A wonderful way to end the day.
Close Dunlop to traffic from 5 corners to Mulcaster. Install kiosks in the centre of the street. Add lights, music, fountains and let the festival atmosphere unfold.
Imagine how magical it could be at Christmas with a Christmas Mart. imagine a cafe au lait in a street cafe in the evenings in the spring. Ice creams and outdoor music in the summer. Hot waffles from street vendors in the fall.
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Bruce Wilson commented
A better idea would be to close Clapperton between Dunlop and Collier to traffic and try to clean up that area. Two-way traffic on Bayfield between Dunlop and Collier would improve the traffic flow through the area.
What an interesting way to further bankrupt downtown
I love these sort of promenade areas. I'm sure there are countless other examples of this being done successfully. Spark Street in Ottawa comes to mind, I've also seen a couple in Montreal, though I don't know the street names. Get rid of the cars and let people enjoy the space. It's like what they do with all those wooden restaurant patio things in the summer, only more/better.
Much of Dunlop Street's potential is ruined by congested traffic and sketchiness. It could become the most charming part of the whole city. The only con I can think of is having to re-route all the traffic, but that said, at only 2 lanes with many stop lights, Dunlop really doesn't support much traffic anyway.
And watch the struggling businesses close all their doors. Then you will be back here whining about the mess you ironically created
Andrew matheson commented
I think it's probably unreasonable to shut down Dunlop permanently to traffic. I think it would be reasonable to shut it down in the evenings and on weekends in the summer. That would be great.