June 12, 2005

Changing Car Lots To Attractive Residential/Commercial Neighborhoods

East Washington Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin, currently sports "car lots only blocks from the Capitol, strip malls with one-story stores, [and] the sprawling East Towne commercial area."

But planners say in 10 or 20 years, it could have "formerly vast parking lots filled with four- to 12-story buildings with stores, bars and restaurants on the first floor and offices or housing above, streetcars running nearby, and on the outskirts of the city, 'new urbanist' neighborhoods where people can live, shop, work and have a good time," says the Wisconsin State Journal.

Someday, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz sees a couple living in a Downtown condo hopping a streetcar to catch a soccer game at a refurbished Breese Stevens field, grabbing a post- game drink at a neighborhood bar in a stylish retail and housing project across the street and then taking the streetcar home.

The idea is creating pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development, where people actually both CAN and WANT TO get places occasionally without HAVING to take a car.

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