I just took a trip to Boulder and Denver and I really enjoyed their downtowns, especially the Pearl Street Mall and the 16th Street Mall. I think that both add a great vibrancy to the downtown and are a nice draw for pedestrian traffic.
I was wondering what people would think about making a pedestrian mall, ala Pearl Street, in Utah. I know there has been talk about Main Street in Salt Lake City, but there are plenty of critics and I don't see it happening. What about other places in Utah, like Provo.
I was thinking that Center Street could be diverted to 100 North. It would take a some purchasing property, but hey this is my dream so anything can happen. The block that Albertsons is on would be purchased and then a couple of parking lots around 100 E. This would allow a nice curve to be established so that traffic on "Center Street" (which would be 100 N) would be able to flow at a relatively normal pace. No additional traffic signals would need to be added, other than the ones currently existing on 100 N. Additionally, since the speed limit on 100 N is 10 MPH faster than on center, you may still be able to get through downtown just as quick even with the turn. One objection would be the Provo police department because their revenue would go down dramatically since they wouldn't be able to hand out tickets on Center anymore.
So who's going to pay for it? Great question. While I do love downtown Provo, some of the areas could easily be developed, which are currently green areas or just nice grass. Buildings on these lots could be constructed which would come right up to Center, creating a more dense feel, allowing more interaction with the street, and providing some type of money for the project so that it doesn't all come from bonds or tax payers.
I studied psychology and not development, so I don't even know if this is possible or what huge flaws exist in my logic. I just really like development and architecture and thats why I think about it as a past time.
Anyway, below is a rough sketch I did. The red is the new path of Center Street, the blue is the pedestrian mall, and the yellow are the lots that could potentially be sold to raise some type of funds (they are behind the Covey Center, both sides of the entrance of the City Hall, between the new conference center and the building just to the west of it, and by the county building, in addition to between the new road on the block where the old albertsons was located). Thoughts?