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Build it and they will come.
They will come to a classic town square, a smile on their face and money in their hands to spend in town's interesting tables-on-the-sidewalk, restaurants and the variety of interesting stores with no automobile noise, odors or parking hassles.
Vision walkers in the square, spending money enjoying themselves. Vision a grassy area in the middle with a fountain? All this without the noise and odors and danger of traffic.
Sounds too good to be true? I have seen such busy squares in Europe and Canada as well as in the U.S., and we can have a fine one here in Gainesville's Mule Camp Square at little cost.
Our dream town square would eliminate our merry-go-round traffic that, like Topsy, has just "done growed." Curb parking historically not available to customers will not be needed. Parking would be directed to the many parking facilities now available in the immediate area.
Who will pay for it? Interesting enough, the cost would be low. The expensive part has already been built. The beautiful brickwork has been laid. Store fronts have been renovated, beautification has been done and off street parking facilities constructed. Businesses and restaurants will grow and increase tax income. Oh yes, we need to repair our square's famous statue.
Traffic flow can be redirected. For example, all entrances to the square could be blocked. Washington Street would not be changed but a fence would run along the square side. The square's streets would not be torn up to allow for off-time deliveries and emergency vehicles. We already employ the talent to design a workable traffic plan.
Build it and they will come, spend and enjoy.
Lee S. Bowers