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Caroline without the cars?
City residents Walter and Laurel McLeod suggest on today’s letters page that Fredericksburg consider imitating other downtowns, like Williamsburg and Charlottesville, who have blocked off streets to traffic, creating pedestrian malls. They suggest this could help promote a better environment for sidewalk dining and other activity. They write:
Wouldn’t it be novel to block off Caroline Street from Charlotte to William streets? This change alone would create a sense of place for downtown Fredericksburg.
It would also spur greater use of the new parking garage by eliminating street parking in the pedestrian zone.
Sophia Street could be one-way, diverting traffic to the new River Walk. An upgraded Chatham bridge with broader walkways and new lighting would create an awesome gateway to the River Walk.
Every downtown has its own dynamic, and pedestrian malls have been successful for some, but here’s a reminder that they don’t work for everybody.