Friday, February 25, 2011

Pedestrian Malls - Downtown Plan Update Primer #1

In preparation for the 2012 Downtown Plan Update (the Downtown Plan is updated every 5 years.  Public workshops will begin in late summer of 2011), I am going to be providing some background information on various planning topics.  This one is dedicated to downtown Pedestrian Malls and our experience here in Winston-Salem on Trade Street in the '70s.  There will be other topics presented on this blog as well as the yet to be determined meeting times for the 2012 Plan Update workshops.

Primer Topic #1 - Downtown Pedestrian Malls

A friend of mine sent me this photo last night.  Like him, I find these old photos fascinating.  In response to declining business in downtown many cities across the country attempted to recapture lost market share by closing off a select retail corridor to automobile traffic.  Winston-Salem chose Trade Street.  The two photos below show the day that the street was closed in 1970 to begin construction followed by the completed project in 1971.
1970 Photo - Construction Begins
Courtesy of Digital Forsyth at 
After Construction is completed in 1971
Courtesy of Digital Forsyth at
As you know, this pedestrian mall along Trade Street was not a permanent fixture.  In the end, it was reopened to traffic at a later date.

Some links that talk about this as a national phenomena:

Photo of Trade Street as it appears now in 2011.  

Trade Street in 2011

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