K Street in Downtown Sacramento (CPR file photo)
The city of Sacramento hasn’t allowed cars on K Street downtown for 40 years. But officials are looking at changing that to give the struggling street an economic boost. And this week they’re asking the public to weigh in through an online survey.
Pedestrian-only malls were once “the next big thing,” back in the 60s and 70s. Cities hoped they’d increase foot traffic – and therefore increase business. Instead, they’ve mostly done the opposite. So many cities have reopened them to cars. Sacramento’s K Street Mall is now one of the last ones left in the country.
Fritzsche: “Some people that have businesses along K feel like there’s not visibility for them, people don’t know that they’re there.”
Leslie Fritzsche is with Sacramento’s economic development department.
Fritzsche: “Most of the places that converted areas to pedestrian malls have reopened them, seeing them as a way to increase economic vitality and vibrancy to the corridor. So we hope that it does the same for K Street.”
So the city hopes to start a two-block pilot project sometime next year. But first, officials say they want to gauge public opinion. They’ve launched a short web survey that’s open through Noon Saturday. The final say, as always, belongs to the city council. A vote could come sometime next month.