Monday, July 4, 2011

Pedestrian Dead Zones

Just because you build nice wide sidewalks and create a barrier between cars and pedestrians (such as trees) does not mean you will create an environment that conducive to pedestrian activity. To create pedestrian activity you need to have someplace to walk to but also reduce the number of barriers that exist to actually using those sidewalks to get somewhere.
Despite its very long blocks, there is some good pedestrian activity in downtown Salt Lake City from North Temple to about 350 South. If you travel any farther south than that you will see a remarkable decrease in the number of pedestrians. There is several causes of this drop off in pedestrian activity and I will cover some of the major ones in this posting.
Since Main Street is home to the TRAX light rail line I will start off at the corner of 400 South and Main. On the northwest corner of the intersection with have a court house. Court houses tend not to foster pedestrian activity because they are a single point destination, in other words people may go to the court house but that is the only reason they head there.

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