Poll: Would you like to see Gay Street Closed on Weekend Nights

The West Chester Borough Public Safety Committee moved forward with a recommendation to close Gay Street on Friday and Saturday Nights in July.

The Borough Council Public Safety Committee considered a measure to recommend that Gay Street be closed to vehicle traffic on Friday and Saturday Nights in July from 6-11 p.m.  While the measure still needs to be considered by full council.  West Chester Patch wants to know your thoughts.

According to the committee, Gay Street would be closed to vehicle traffic but allow pedestrians.  However, streets running north and south would remain open to allow traffic to pass through the town.

The measure was originally proposed by BLUER (Borough Leaders United for Emission Reduction) as an experiment to see if closing Gay Street would lead to a notable reduction in emissions in the downtown.

So please, let us know your thoughts either by voting or leaving a comment.

Harriet Laurin April 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
How much of Gay Street are they planning to close off? If people coming in on West Chester Pike and Paoli Pike are suddenly hit with a "sorry, five hour detour", it could be problematic. On the other hand, if we're talking about just a few blocks - say, from Matlack to Darlington - that would be intriguing and a step towards creating a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere on a popular dining-out night.
Seavet1 April 12, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I think it is a great idea, actually wonder why it was not done before. In the summer trying to sit and eat outside with cars, motorcycles and noise is really bad.
nona April 12, 2012 at 02:08 PM
y'all think traffic and parking are annoying NOW?
Boots Kane Tolsdorf April 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Eating would be far more pleasant. There is plenty of parking in the two garages. Lovely nights for walking around the borough. It would be great!
Herb April 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Living 2 blocks from Gay Street, I have not noticed an increase in emissions or pollution on the weekends in the summer. However, I see 4 problems being created: First, all of the parking spaces on Gay Street would be unavailable during the closure, so more drivers will be roaming the side streets looking for parking, because they do not want to use the garages. Second, Cars would be detoured to Chestnut Street adding to the traffic planning to turn south on Walnut, High, Church or New Streets, adding to the congestion in mid-town. Third, a safety issue with Gay Street closed, but the north-south traffic open, pedestrians are more at risk to accidentally walk into the north-south traffic, which will be increased in my second point . Fourth, increased traffic on east-west streets below Gay Street, during the driver avoiding Gay Street. In addition to adding more emissions added to these streets, the noise level of the automobiles and most likely, their sound systems, due to open car windows. And safety issues for the families with children on these blocks.
dutch April 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
MarkM April 12, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I'd love to see Gay Street turned into a pedestrian mall entirely. It's easy enough to use Chestnut Street, and that's where the parking garage is anyway. Few people buys anything on Gay street that requires that they park a car in front of the store (even if they could find a spot) -- and there's an alley in the back where they could drive up on the occasions when they did buy that much.
Beege Marshall April 13, 2012 at 03:08 AM
To take elderly or those too frail to walk long distances from the garages or side streets to dinner, would those alleys be available to bring them close enough to the restauant entrances ?
Lane Randall April 14, 2012 at 05:22 PM
If the voting were not closed, I'd have voted, "I LOVE IT."
Alexie Dossa April 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I have long thought this would be a great next step for the boro. I would love to see Gay Street closed to traffic and turned into a pedestrian mall entirely and if not then from late spring / early summer to early fall. WC is already a destination point for many people from the Delaware Valley and the surrounding counties. The parking garages more than make up for the loss of parking spaces on Gay St. Businesses would flourish and so would the tax base. The overall experience for those that live and come to WC would be significantly enhanced. For example an added benefit beyond the support of our boro based businesses could be a larger more viable weekend farmer's market right on Gay St. The size and quality of a market such as this would attract many more people into town to support local businesses and growers. Many of us gravitate to "green and buy local". A larger growers market would be a fantastic centerpiece to our community. If your are a supporter or not, please take a few minutes to see what other communities have done. Burlington, VT http://www.churchstmarketplace.com/ Boulder, CO http://www.boulderdowntown.com/ Ithaca Common (NY) http://www.downtownithaca.com/ Santa Monica, CA Third Street Commons http://downtownsm.com/visitors/index.html


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