Apparently Portland’s Chinatown is embarking on a brave new “experiment”:http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/12/where_the_sidewalk_ends.php in urban planning: squares usable by both pedestrians and vehicles. Turns out Besancon, France beat them to the punch on this one. Honestly, so many streets around here are not-quite-pedestrian-malls that it can make walking stressful at times.
Of course, the advantage of pedestrian/vehicle streets is small streets and even smaller sidewalks becomeing larger by becoming vaguer. I don’t think it will work in the States though. Too many well-laid-out cities and not enough concentration of population. Seriously, Besancon is about the size of Appleton, WI and has a decidedly larger and busier downtown area with older, smaller streets. (Emma may disagree with me on this last point … )
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