Imagine for a minute: You are relaxing at one of the outdoor patios on Baker Street, enjoying the fresh air and a quiet conversation with a friend.
You can hear families laughing, birds chirping. No vehicle noise to shout over or stinky exhaust to mix with your meal. There’s plenty of room to physically distance on the sidewalks — in fact the centre of the road is now a sidewalk. You watch people relaxing on benches between shopping. There’s plenty of parking for bikes. A special cart brings people with mobility impairments to their destination. People are smiling. Businesses are thriving.
We can have this in Nelson. It’s not complicated. There are plenty of successful examples around the world on how to create a flourishing, prosperous car-free shopping district. Kelowna just made their main downtown street (Bernard Avenue) car-free for the summer. Certainly we can try this in Nelson. Let’s make downtown serve people and not cars.