Saturday 28 November 2009

Car supremacist Flagler Beach not ready for pedestrianisation

FLAGLER BEACH -- A proposal to close off part of a main road near City Hall and create a pedestrian mall failed to win over city leaders this week.

The idea is based on a similar recommendation stated in a charette -- a series of talks on the city's architectural design -- and master plan the city paid for years ago. Such a center would allow visitors to the area more easily, traffic-free access to businesses and the Flagler Beach Museum,

John Manoni, owner of the Chi-Dog Restaurant, asked commissioners to find other ways to make downtown more inviting for walkers without shutting down the road. Manoni, whose eatery sits on Central Avenue, said many towns that created traffic-free downtown areas are now abandoning the initiative and reopening streets because pedestrians complained it's difficult to access businesses, and retailers were losing money.

Commissioner Joy McGrew said. "I look forward to this look and can see this look," she said. "But it's ahead of its time."