A valuable analysis has come out of Fresno CA, where they are thinking about what to do with their failed pedestrian mall – like so many in America.

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From urbancurrent:

The Downtown Fresno Partnership published the report, “American Pedestrian Malls: Trends Analysis, Necessary Indicators for Success and Recommendations for Fresno’s Fulton Mall.” …

The major findings of the report are:

  • Pedestrian malls in the United States have an 89% rate of failure. Most have been removed or repurposed. Only 11% have been successful.
  • Of the 11% successful pedestrian malls, 80% are in areas with populations under 100,000.
  • Certain indicators need to be present for a pedestrian mall to be successful in the United States:
    • Attached to a major anchor such as a university (i.e. Boulder)
    • Situated in close proximity to a beach (i.e. Miami, Santa Monica)
    • Designed to be a short length in terms of blocks (1-4 blocks long)
    • Located in a community with a population under 100,000 (i.e. New Bedford, MA)
    • Located in a major tourist destination (i.e. Las Vegas, New Orleans)
  • Cities that have transformed their abandoned pedestrian malls into “complete” main streets have experienced turnarounds in their downtowns, with more investment, higher occupancy rates and more pedestrian traffic.  90% of these cities see significant improvements in occupancy rates, retail sales, property values, and private sector investment in the downtown area when streets are restored.