We closed two blocks of downtown’s SW 1st Avenue during the Covid lockdown so restaurants there could stay in business by offering outdoor dining.
No question it helped Looseys and other cafes keep their doors open. And it seemed a small price to pay for the lost of some curbside parking.
Still, now the Covid crisis has mostly passed, I keep hearing folks complain: “What good’s a street that you can’t drive on?”
To which I would counter: What isn’t a people street good for?
There is an art to making a people street work. People crave public spaces. They want to be where other people are. And they don’t want to have to dodge traffic for the privilege.
And so once a month, on a Sunday, SW 1st Ave. is turned into an open air market. Complete with music and entertainment.
Where all manner of goods are for sale.
Listen, there’s no accounting for taste. That’s why they call ‘em street bizaars.
We could use more people streets. And it’s time for the City to get rid of those ugly “Road Closed” barriers and find more attractive ways to designate that NW 1st is for people.