SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City officials are looking to turn downtown’s Main Street into a permanent pedestrian-only mall after the success of the city’s “Open Streets” program.
For the last three years, Main Street has been closed to vehicle traffic every weekend from 400 South to South Temple. The summer-long Open Streets event allowed restaurants, bars, and retailers in the area to extend their storefronts to the sidewalks and streets, providing more outdoor spaces to eat and shop.
Musicians, buskers, and artists took advantage of the open space, livening up the city with performances.
The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) said it has learned a lot over the last three years from Open Streets, and they are now looking to turn it into a permanent deal.
“With multiple restaurants, shops, bars, office buildings, and entertainment venues, Main Street draws visitors and residents as a regional centerpiece for arts, entertainment, and commerce,” said RDA.
While nothing is set in stone yet, RDA is seeking consultants to help with the conceptual design of the mall. Main Street is currently a fully operational street with access to vehicles and bikes, has two TRAX lines with two stations, and has heavy pedestrian traffic.
With a consultant, the RDA would examine the current layout and design of Main Street and take recommendations for the mall’s design, while still allowing access for TRAX, emergency vehicles, accessibility needs, maintenance needs, and other urban planning details.
The study would also consider cost analysis for the full-scale project.
RDA is also looking into the future of the Gallivan Center, which lives along the heart of Main Street. In addition to seeking a consultant for the permanent Main Street Pedestrian Mall, RDA is seeking consultants to help with the next 20-year plan for the iconic downtown plaza.
According to RDA, the next 20-year plan for the Gallivan Center will aim to serve an “ever-evolving community in an equitable, environmentally sustainable, and fiscally conscious manner.”