Answered: Should Carytown be pedestrian only?

Charlottesville's Downtown Mall is pedestrian-only. | Photo by Sophia McCrimmon

On Monday, we floated the idea of a car-free Carytown in the newsletter and on Instagram. Here’s what readers had to say about the popular proposal. 

A lot of people suggested a pedestrian-only schedule — and pointed to other cities with carfree streets

Absolutely! Install retractable pylons that can be lowered to allow traffic on some schedule and raised to create a pedestrian mall on schedule.” – @riversideoutfittersrva

“Yes, on weekends at least. Works great at old town Alexandria off king st” – @seefitz

“If the city could build some parking structures, convert ellwood 2 way to Arthur Ashe (which would slow down cars), then convert Cary from Thompson-Arthur Ashe to pedestrian mall like Charlottesville’s, that would be the most ideal!!!!” – @emilyroutman

Parking was a common concern. 

Sounds great if they had extra parking decks built – it’s already hard to find parking now.” – @missyrothrock

YES! But realistically there would have to be more parking garages. Underground ones would be awesome to not block the beautiful surroundings!” – Reader Elizabeth H. 

“Yes and no. It would become more of a popular place for sure, and revenues for business would profit. But where will everyone park? Maybe a couple of parking decks?” – @nicktheheartist

“That would be so dope but certainly want to listen to and find solutions for concerns of our disabled neighbors […] and a plan for the overflow parking and traffic. But yeahhhhh!” – @nerdcropolis


Readers also shared other development dreams

In addition to Carytown, I’d like to see segments of Floyd, Cherry, and Shafer around VCU be transformed into car-free zones — note that this is different than pedestrian-only zones. These areas would need designated bike lanes and Carytown would need a bus-only lane.” – Reader Angela L.

“[…] Continuing to bolster the city’s bike lanes would be helpful too. A north/south Pulse line sounds like a good idea.” – Reader Kyle S. 

We love forecasting the future of the River City. Feel free to keep chiming in on social media or in our inbox.