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Re: [carfree_cities] Auto-Free Zones,

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  • bill norman
    My name is James R. Martin, and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. I ve renewed my interest and pro-bicycle/pro-pedestrian activism after seeing a pedestrain
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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      My name is James R. Martin, and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
      I've renewed my interest and pro-bicycle/pro-pedestrian activism
      after seeing a pedestrain hit and killed in a crosswalk near the
      Santa Fe plaza about two weeks ago. A movement has begun here in
      Santa Fe to close the plaza to all automobile traffic. I support
      this action, and would love to have supportive ideas and help of any
      kind.

      I need ideas on organizing, promotion of the idea, and knowlede as
      to what I can say to persuade the yet unpersuaded that an auto-free
      plaza would be terrific for the city. What can I tell shop owners
      and managers who are in the plaza who might fear a loss in business?

      Good Luck. It would'nt work. I live in Calgary Canada and in the 60's a walking mall was built on 8th Ave downtown that stretched for two blocks. No vehicular traffic was allowed at all. By the late 70's the city tore up both blocks to put in a lane for traffic. They then changed the laws to allow for traffic between 6am and 6pm. Other than that during the day you needed a permit to drive onto the mall. Of course this permit came with a cost. The problem is that we now have traffic on the mall during the day and without a permit and I never see any kind of enforcement. I doubt very much if this is an isolated incident and if you did get what you want don't be surprised if it is changed down the road.



      ---------------------------------
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jym Dyer
      ... =v= One failed implementation doesn t mean the concept is bad. Indeed, there have been a number of failed implementations, most of which have been along
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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        > Good Luck. It would'nt work. I live in Calgary Canada and in
        > the 60's a walking mall was built on 8th Ave downtown that
        > stretched for two blocks.

        =v= One failed implementation doesn't mean the concept is bad.
        Indeed, there have been a number of failed implementations,
        most of which have been along the lines of massive spending to
        support and promote sprawl, followed by tossing a few crumbs
        back at the city center in a last-ditch attempt to revive it.

        =v= There have also been a number of successful implementations,
        and it seems to me that the original query was along the lines
        of learning from those experiences.
        <_Jym_>
      • greenshift
        ... auto ... given ... streets ... Tom, In the five years that I ve lived in Santa Fe the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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          > I used to live in Santa Fe. As I recall, the plaza was closed to
          auto
          > traffic in the summer. It was the only practical thing to do,
          given
          > the volume of tourists clogging the streets. I always wondered why
          > they just closed off the plaza and not some of the surrounding
          streets
          > which were also quite busy.
          >
          > Tom

          ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

          Tom, In the five years that I've lived in Santa Fe the situation has
          been one in which only one or two of the four streets running
          through the Plaza would be closed during the height of tourism in
          the summer. The extreme density of pedestrians (and cars!) in the
          Plaza, presently, leads many of us to believe that the mix is
          entirely unworkable, and the recent pedestrian death (she was hit in
          a crosswalk!) is pushing us into action to close the entire plaza
          permanently.

          Unfortunately, Santa Feans seem to be rather disengaged when it
          comes to activism. Otherwise, I'd say a solid majority of locals
          would like to close the plaza to cars. Also unfortunate is that the
          City Council and Mayor are apparently unaware of the extent of the
          sentiment toward closing the Plaza. Even though my informal polling
          has indicated a majority opinion for closure, only a few show up to
          public meetings. This indicates a tragic disconnect, I believe,
          between the city's citizens and the governing body. This MUST be
          remedied, but how?! Santa Feans don't tend to march in the streets
          or engage in 'civil disobedience', public demonstrations or
          protests, and the like.

          I would be extremely appreciative if several of us could work
          together to compose a well-researched and well-written statement to
          the city government and the downtown merchants -- of any city which
          is facing this hurdle. Such a resource could be made available on
          the internet for all who need it in times like ours.

          The Plaza closure issue has been a perennial one here in Santa Fe
          (for a decade, at least), and the city cannot pretend, at this
          point, that it needs to continue with 'studies', and more 'studies',
          and yet more 'studies'--only so that the issue can be forgotten
          about! It's time for us to act, and I'm desperately needing some
          thoughtful and knowledgable assistance.

          Has anyone here experience working with these issues? Help! Now's
          the time because the issue has been in the local news quite a bit --
          yet still NOT ENOUGH LOCALS ARE SHOWING UP AT MEETINGS AND VOICING
          THEIR OPINIONS. I'm sure that the present City Council would close
          the Plaza almost immediately if they only knew that a majority of
          locals favor this move.
        • Tom Tromey
          ... In this case, one approach would be to convince the business owners that street closure will be in their interests. They may have more incentive to lobby
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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            >>>>> ">" == greenshift <greenshift@...> writes:

            >> This indicates a tragic disconnect, I believe, between the city's
            >> citizens and the governing body. This MUST be remedied, but how?!

            In this case, one approach would be to convince the business owners
            that street closure will be in their interests. They may have more
            incentive to lobby the mayor and council than the average, um, "man in
            the street" :-)

            Here in Boulder the Pearl Street Mall has been a raging success. It
            is fair to say it is the centerpiece of the town. I don't know much
            about the history of it, though. I read on the web that it was closed
            to cars in 1976, well before my time here.

            Anyway, maybe it would be a good model. Someone, somewhere, will have
            more information on how it was created and the ensuing benefits.

            Tom
          • Tom Tromey
            ... Jym =v= One failed implementation doesn t mean the concept is bad. Jym Indeed, there have been a number of failed implementations, Definitely. Recently
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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              >>>>> "Jym" == Jym Dyer <jym@...> writes:

              >> Good Luck. It would'nt work. I live in Calgary Canada and in
              >> the 60's a walking mall was built on 8th Ave downtown that
              >> stretched for two blocks.

              Jym> =v= One failed implementation doesn't mean the concept is bad.
              Jym> Indeed, there have been a number of failed implementations,

              Definitely. Recently the walking mall in Eugene, Oregon was reopened
              to traffic (in fact I saw a note about it on this list). My friends
              who have lived in Eugene (I've never been) tell me that it was
              dysfunctional and poorly planned.

              Tom
            • Louis-Luc
              I live in Montreal suburb. I m convinced all city cores need carfree places. Next week-end, Sainte-Catherine street is going to be carfree between 9:00 and
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 9, 2002
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                I live in Montreal suburb.
                I'm convinced all city cores need carfree places.
                Next week-end, Sainte-Catherine street is going to
                be carfree between 9:00 and 17:00 both Saturday and
                Sunday for the yearly "Vente Trottoir".

                I've seen photos of Ste-Catherine from the mid 70s, and we used to see many
                more cars than pedestrians. Today, sidewalks are clogged with pedestrians,
                cyclist are king in the middle of the street, and I wonder why cars are
                still allowed to drive there. They seem to be wasting time there as parking
                is always difficult. All drivers I've met don't like to go downtown on
                Ste-Catherine because they say to me parking is too difficult. The only ones
                who accepted to go there wanted to zip through without stopping: useless.
                The same situation is true for more downtown streets. The car is more
                deteriorating the inner suburb: the ring surrounding downtown. They
                virtually clog all arteries. When they're not jammed, they drive too fast
                and stress everyone who want to enjoy life, as they draw the attention.

                Louis-Luc

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: bill norman [mailto:billnorman1066@...]
                > Sent: 9 juillet, 2002 15:26
                > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Auto-Free Zones,
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > My name is James R. Martin, and I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
                > I've renewed my interest and pro-bicycle/pro-pedestrian activism
                > after seeing a pedestrain hit and killed in a crosswalk near the
                > Santa Fe plaza about two weeks ago. A movement has begun here in
                > Santa Fe to close the plaza to all automobile traffic. I support
                > this action, and would love to have supportive ideas and help of any
                > kind.
                >
                > I need ideas on organizing, promotion of the idea, and knowlede as
                > to what I can say to persuade the yet unpersuaded that an auto-free
                > plaza would be terrific for the city. What can I tell shop owners
                > and managers who are in the plaza who might fear a loss in business?
                >
                > Good Luck. It would'nt work. I live in Calgary Canada and in the
                > 60's a walking mall was built on 8th Ave downtown that stretched
                > for two blocks. No vehicular traffic was allowed at all. By the
                > late 70's the city tore up both blocks to put in a lane for
                > traffic. They then changed the laws to allow for traffic between
                > 6am and 6pm. Other than that during the day you needed a permit
                > to drive onto the mall. Of course this permit came with a cost.
                > The problem is that we now have traffic on the mall during the
                > day and without a permit and I never see any kind of enforcement.
                > I doubt very much if this is an isolated incident and if you did
                > get what you want don't be surprised if it is changed down the road.
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
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                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
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                >
                >
              • cndpandit
                ... has ... in ... more studies , ... Hello Chris here. I heard santa fe was a little paradise. First off Parking is the main issue here. Is there adequate
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 15, 2002
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                  --- In carfree_cities@y..., "greenshift" <greenshift@y...> wrote:
                  >

                  >
                  > ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
                  >
                  > Tom, In the five years that I've lived in Santa Fe the situation
                  has
                  > been one in which only one or two of the four streets running
                  > through the Plaza would be closed during the height of tourism in
                  > the summer. The extreme density of pedestrians (and cars!) in the
                  > Plaza, presently, leads many of us to believe that the mix is
                  > entirely unworkable, and the recent pedestrian death (she was hit
                  in
                  > a crosswalk!) is pushing us into action to close the entire plaza
                  > permanently.
                  >
                  > Unfortunately, Santa Feans seem to be rather disengaged when it
                  > comes to activism. Otherwise, I'd say a solid majority of locals
                  > would like to close the plaza to cars. Also unfortunate is that the
                  > City Council and Mayor are apparently unaware of the extent of the
                  > sentiment toward closing the Plaza. Even though my informal polling
                  > has indicated a majority opinion for closure, only a few show up to
                  > public meetings. This indicates a tragic disconnect, I believe,
                  > between the city's citizens and the governing body. This MUST be
                  > remedied, but how?! Santa Feans don't tend to march in the streets
                  > or engage in 'civil disobedience', public demonstrations or
                  > protests, and the like.
                  >
                  > I would be extremely appreciative if several of us could work
                  > together to compose a well-researched and well-written statement to
                  > the city government and the downtown merchants -- of any city which
                  > is facing this hurdle. Such a resource could be made available on
                  > the internet for all who need it in times like ours.
                  >
                  > The Plaza closure issue has been a perennial one here in Santa Fe
                  > (for a decade, at least), and the city cannot pretend, at this
                  > point, that it needs to continue with 'studies', and
                  more 'studies',
                  > and yet more 'studies'--only so that the issue can be forgotten
                  > about! It's time for us to act, and I'm desperately needing some
                  > thoughtful and knowledgable assistance.
                  >
                  > Has anyone here experience working with these issues? Help! Now's
                  > the time because the issue has been in the local news quite a bit --

                  > yet still NOT ENOUGH LOCALS ARE SHOWING UP AT MEETINGS AND VOICING
                  > THEIR OPINIONS. I'm sure that the present City Council would close
                  > the Plaza almost immediately if they only knew that a majority of
                  > locals favor this move.

                  Hello Chris here. I heard santa fe was a little paradise. First off
                  Parking is the main issue here. Is there adequate parking around the
                  plaza? If not what kind of Public Transport system does your city
                  have? How diverse and rich is the commercial environment of the
                  plaza? Is tourism the main industry in santa fe? As stated Im sure
                  its a very large industry, where are the main hotels situated,
                  compared to the plaza? Id love to do my part to put together the
                  presentation.
                • greenshift
                  ... off ... the ... =========================================================== Whether or not there is adequate parking around the Plaza is not a simple
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 16, 2002
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                    > Hello Chris here. I heard santa fe was a little paradise. First
                    off
                    > Parking is the main issue here. Is there adequate parking around
                    the
                    > plaza?

                    ===========================================================
                    Whether or not there is adequate parking around the Plaza is not a
                    simple question, in my mind. The City has been working on a
                    perceived parking problem, proposing a multi-million dollar multi-
                    tiered parking facility/building. But no one is allowed to park in
                    the Plaza, anyway. So anyone shopping in the Plaza must walk from
                    parking, regardless.

                    ===========================================================

                    If not what kind of Public Transport system does your city
                    > have?
                    ===========================================================

                    We have a bus system. It is limited, but can grow.

                    ===========================================================

                    How diverse and rich is the commercial environment of the
                    > plaza?
                    ===========================================================

                    Fairly diverse for a tourism-oriented commercial environment.

                    ===========================================================

                    Is tourism the main industry in santa fe?

                    ===========================================================

                    Yes.
                    ===========================================================

                    > Where are the main hotels situated,
                    > compared to the plaza?
                    ===========================================================

                    Several large hotels are a very short walk from the Plaza. These are
                    the largest hotels in the city. Cabs are also easily available.
                    ===========================================================

                    Id love to do my part to put together the
                    > presentation.

                    Thanks so much, Chris! Where do we go from here?
                  • cndpandit
                    Judging by what I can deduce with the little I know, there is quite a bit of work to do here. I don t think you should go to the mayor right away. There are
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 16, 2002
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                      Judging by what I can deduce with the little I know, there is quite a
                      bit of work to do here. I don't think you should go to the mayor
                      right away. There are two options people or business. Either prove
                      public majority support or, Get the hotels and other tourism business
                      to make it happen.
                      To prove public opinion you can probably get a petition sighed by a
                      few thousand people say, I'm assuming your city is 1-300 000 people.
                      Or a completely un bias survey completed by a couple thousand people
                      would do well also.
                      To get business in on it you have to do some selling.


                      Please feel free to add to this list:


                      Pros


                      Added Open Space: can be converted to park, outdoor market, stress
                      free walk way, relaxation, terraces, street parties, adds touristic
                      appeal due to uniqueness, higher concentrations of people can gather
                      and feel at ease,

                      Less dangerous: point made

                      Cleaner Air: ahhhh


                      Cons (Create sollutions for this specific projects case)


                      Disrupts flow of personal vehicles; citizens must be able to get from
                      point A to point B

                      Disrupts flow of goods; commercial needs goods to sell, Freight must
                      move in and out.

                      Link for map;
                      http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?zoom=9&mapdata=hP0urGiog%
                      2bcn2l7RvFUyUogA4Ufy3sUEuToZ4cW4ejqLZiua%2fOieK1dUPwkzLNzI%
                      2f572m9uGlFwUDNhNlCa9vaed0dOGQQZFrYWoNw0N5aGk1brMAo52l7vMwXbIkgtbgbct3
                      I7UzM%
                      2f9xgA9GEt0gTNuczBVbS1fgyRdeepdFDz5cZaK5HoHYJ82nabC2t1imYWmmiqImK8tkop
                      oZX7vCPtYlT5nYRlPpaxYB4EHZd0ozIVkq%2buOsHVT%2bVsLJlFWc4a%2b1%
                      2fsnLrISzzXGE%2fV8ehxTfqQxdh9sRPpXWKVXSdA%3d
                    • cndpandit
                      Just to add a few more things. I completely agree with Tim Prescots Post; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree_cities/message/4909 Perhaps all thats needed is
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 16, 2002
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                        Just to add a few more things. I completely agree with Tim Prescots
                        Post; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carfree_cities/message/4909

                        Perhaps all thats needed is a couple speed bumps if danger is the
                        issue. That Im sure is very easy to make happen. If its an issue of
                        creating quality urban space perhaps a smart simple project idea
                        presented to local buisness will accomplish that. Either or where are
                        your thoughts?

                        PS sorry about that boched link on previous post.
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