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Comment by DCMc on May 5, 2014 at 9:34am

The 4th Street Mall does not look wide enough for two lanes of car traffic, 15-foot-wide sidewalks and a seven-foot-wide bicycle lane. Hope they can pull it off.

Comment by once banned twice shy on May 5, 2014 at 11:46am

DCMc, I am sure they will fudge on the sidewalk and the bicycle lane.  Because no one holds the city's feet to the fire when they promise things like this. Also, the city counts the gutter as part of the bike lane. 

But I like the proposal to eliminate the pissageway under the RR tracks (ht to Ajax for the name) and bring it up to RR grade--but they'd better put in ped-proof gates--and they'd better have planned for cyclists, too.

Comment by shotsie on May 5, 2014 at 5:00pm

It's too bad about Alamosa Bookstore biting the dust - they had a great selection of children's books - it will be missed. 

About 4th St Mall - since this is only two blocks long, and terminates at City Hall, why does the city feel the need to turn it back into a road?  It would be cheaper to  have the police patrol the area and move the transients along, or maybe just fence it off during off hours.  The Mall is in really good shape, and just needs businesses.  I'd rather see the city put some money into the railroad buildings and clean them up rather than put money into this project. 

Comment by Benny the Icepick on May 5, 2014 at 6:52pm

//The Mall is in really good shape, and just needs businesses//

That's kind of the problem, though.  The northern block has a call center on one side and a hotel on the other; there's no opportunity to activate the corridor.  It's an urban deadzone.  I'm not sure whether the buildings or the mall came first, but it was poor planning.

Nevertheless, I agree that opening it back up to vehicular traffic is not a move in the right direction either.

I'm curious to see how the pedestrian crossing at the same grade as the railroad tracks will function.  I think it'll bring some much-needed visibility to the RailRunner, but I'm more than a little worried about pedestrian-train collisions.  I hope the designers behind the project come up with a good way to address safety.

Comment by Phil_0 on May 5, 2014 at 10:05pm

Agreed on both counts, Benny: the 4th Street Mall could be the greatest pedestrian environment in the city, but the fact it has blank walls facing it on more than half its length would still be a big obstacle to its success. And none of those buildings are going anywhere. I also share your concern about the RailRunner vs. pedestrians. It's a neat and good idea, but it seems like they're asking for trouble.

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