More walking, less driving


I’d like to commend Ron Pond for his suggestion “Fix Downtown” to improve Main Ave. in last week’s Telegraph. However, if changes are to be made, I’d rather see them go all the way and make it a pedestrian mall.

Now, before you have a conniption, hear me out. I lived in Boulder for several years and can attest to the quaintness and draw of the sheltered walking promenade called “Pearl Street Mall.”

What about the loss of already insufficient parking, you say? A few parking garages could gain that back and more. Businesses end up thriving, because someone on foot is far more likely to wander into your store than someone driving and desperately looking for a parking space.

But, won’t you have to walk a lot farther from a parking garage, you say? Guess what? Durango is a healthy town, and visitors may find the extra exercise to be beneficial to their health. And, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that breathing carbon monoxide is not healthy, nor is getting hit by a car.

There are many other benefits as well: All summer long, Boulder has something called “Band on the Bricks” every week, with a stage set up in the middle of Pearl Street featuring different bands. This would be perfect for iAM Music concerts, without having to be relegated to some random parking lot.

Buskers or street performers might show up and provide additional entertainment and culture. It could also be extra work for the local Secret Circus Society members. Pedicabs could be available for those with more money than fitness. Less noise pollution. And I’m sure others can come up with some more beneficial ideas.

I’m new to town and this idea has probably been proposed before, so let’s make this happen.

– Eric Orton, Durango