LETTER: Pedestrian mall not the answer for Beacon Avenue

Every couple of years some well-intentioned resident of Sidney suggests we turn Beacon Avenue into a permanent pedestrian mall, citing the wonderful pedestrian malls in Europe.

However, a little research will show that the only successful European pedestrian malls are in those cities with a resident population of at least one million. The Price Council was working towards that number but fortunately there is still a long way to go.

Old timers will recall that in the 1960s pedestrian malls suddenly became the flavour of the day, and over 200 were built across North America. Today only one remains – Sparks Street Mall in Ottawa – and anyone who has seen it will admit it is a retail disaster. It only survives because it is owned by the federal government, which is not exactly known for its retailing or business expertise.

If anyone wants to review the documentation on pedestrian malls please drop me an email.

Richard Talbot

Sidney

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