Walkable Communities

I have been making a concentrated effort to use mass transportation as much as possible in recent years.  Tom and I have two cars that we try not to drive much.  During our work week in the winter time, we drive the 1.5 miles to the TRAX parking lot and take the train to our job 12 miles away (In the warmer weather we either walk or ride our bikes to the TRAX station or take the bus if it meets our schedule.).  At our place of work we keep our other car so that Tom can do the job related errands that require the use of a vehicle around the area where we work in uptown Salt Lake City.

As we were walking to the train yesterday after work we were talking about what Salt Lake City should do to change its downtown from a vehicle supported area to a pedestrian friendly area (When you walk, you realize how much dependency there is on vehicles and how vehicles are not friendly to pedestrians….).

All of downtown should be car-free.  Only buses and trains would be permitted downtown.  All parking decks downtown should be transformed into useable residential or commercial or office space.  Automobile users would park their vehicles in lots surrounding the city and take shuttles or trains into downtown.  (Better yet, as our train and bus system is improved and expanded to all areas of the valley, folks should be able to travel from their homes….).  Bicycles could be made available via rental fee for those choosing to transport themselves that way.  More people could then actually live and work in the downtown area.  For moving, designated times could be alloted after business hours for vehicles to move furniture and other items into buildings downtown.  Same thing for deliveries for businesses. 

With proper and efficient planning, this could work.

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