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June 13, 2005

Opinion: Re-conquering the city, starting on Second Ave.

Thank you for publishing this idea for Second Avenue ("Should part of Second Avenue be closed to cars?" DJC June 8). Anything that can reduce the impact of vehicles on our city fabric improves our city for everyone.

For far too long we have designed our city to support car-driving to the detriment of cyclists, walkers and residents who use city streets as public open space. It is a great fallacy that the city must accommodate SOV's to remain economically competitive. Just look to Vancouver, B.C., to see a thriving economy with little deference to the car (they don't even have a freeway through the middle of town!)

From the rising cost of fuel, to new research on health and urban design, change is coming and it's refreshing to hear voices calling for action.

Darby Watson

We, the people, definitely have to "re-conquer" our cities and create more "open public spaces" and promenades as the Danish architect Jan Gehl put it in his very eloquent and friendly lecture at the gathering by the shadow of the gigantic Qwest Field.

Life in the U.S. is getting more stagnated because of the daily car traffic and transportation problems, unlike the daily life in most European cities where people walk, bike or use public transportation. People there are more fit, healthy, social and more aware of their cities and what their cities have to offer them.

By all means, let's shut the car traffic on Second Avenue and give it back to the people. Besides, in few years that's where the monorail will be running through, linking Ballard to West Seattle (the last two "real people" neighborhoods). Why not create a better "democratic" public path from one people gathering place (the two stadiums) to Westlake Mall, Pike Street, Lake Union and forward!!

Ender Karaca

Tell Mr. Gehl to go back to Copenhagen.

Ed Kommers

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