Fresno Bee: “For a spell, the plan worked. The mall was packed, and commerce thrived. Some businesses bragged that sales had risen by 40%. But by the end of the 1980s, all the major retailers were gone, their spaces filled by discount stores — or nothing at all.
It’s time now for the Fresno City Council to end this noble but unsuccessful venture and approve Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s plan to return vehicle traffic to Fulton.
The mayor has secured $16 million in federal grants to turn the six-block pedestrian mall into a two-way street — one with beautiful landscaping and sidewalks wide enough to accommodate the people who work and shop there now.”
I’m one of the folks that believes in the Fulton Mall. The plan to rip it out makes me sick. I don’t know what else to say.
This won’t fix downtown. For a thriving downtown you need to attract people, people that need services. How does ripping out the mall magically make businesses and, more importantly, people show up? Sure, it will attract a crowd, for a while, human curiosity and all, but what happens next? Where is the real plan? The plan to attract businesses and people downtown? That seems more important.
Remember the stadium project? That was supposed to fix downtown. Did it? No, it did not. What makes city leaders believe one street will fix it?
If they do this, I hope it works, but I just can’t see it happening and we will have lost yet another unique space in the Valley.