Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sidewalk Cafes in Fayetteville

There is a proposal before the Fayetteville city council to allow sidewalk cafes on public sidewalks. What a wonderful idea! This would definitely add to the idea of making central Fayetteville a vibrant place where people could walk to work, leisure, and social activities.

Picture, if you will, some colorful umbrellas shading tables and chairs along the sidewalk where people are enjoying coffee or food. Some people are talking with friends while others are reading or taking a break from shopping. Doesn’t that image make you feel relaxed and comfortable?

One concern about sidewalk cafes is whether there is enough room on Dickson Street’s existing sidewalks. Closing several blocks in the area east of West Avenue to vehicular traffic and converting that section into a “walking street” could easily resolve this concern. Business for the shops and restaurants would actually be enhanced because people would be on foot, rather than just driving by in their cars. Pedestrians could walk safely in the street while the sidewalks were used as cafes.

In Latin America, it is quite common for a "shopping street" to be a "walking street." Examples can be found in Santiago, Chile, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, among other major Latin American cities. These streets are always full of people, and businesses compete to get frontage on these streets because of the advantages of having pedestrians rather than vehicles pass by.

A similar concept occurred years ago in Minneapolis when the primary shopping street was closed to all vehicular traffic, except busses.

I say, “Let’s go for it!”


No comments: