Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Was doing some reading last light about exercise and walkable communities. Although they haven't discussed the concept specifically, the focus on increasing foot traffic in downtown C'dale by the Comprehensive Plan Study committee is a walkability issue. Carbondale is, for the most part, not a walkable community. The newer neighborhoods are not designed to encourage foot traffic, nor our shopping districts.

If you want to walk in the newer suburbs in the southwest, you have to walk on the street, as there are no sidewalks. If you want to buy clothing in C'dale, you have to drive as there are no clothing stores to speak of in downtown orthe west side and those on the east side aren't readily accesable by foot. Groceries have the same problem. If you want to buy them and want a large selection rather than specialty foods, you have to go to the east side. Schunck's does serve close by neighborhoods but it's surrounded buy 3 lanes of traffic on three sides.

Downtown, one of the major focuses of the Compresheive Plan committtee, serves students. Students can easly walk to it (most of the property south of cherry and between Unviersity and Poplar is studant rental) and most of the businesses down there target students (bars and cheap restaurants). so downtown right now is in a Catch 22. More people con't dome down there to shop becasue there are no buiensses to attract them and more businesses don't move in there because residents don't come down to shop. It can be turned around but will take years and a focused effort to do so.

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