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Letter: Allen Street Pedestrian Plaza Proposal Could Help Sustainability

on December 16, 2019 4:00 AM

I read the Dec. 3 article detailing recent State College Borough Council discussion about the proposal to make the 100 block of South Allen Street into a pedestrian plaza for the first half of the 2020 summer. It is thought that this plaza will benefit area businesses at a traditionally slow time of year.

A less obvious benefit is that the plaza likely also will help encourage less car use in the downtown area. As more high-rise buildings are constructed downtown, the population density there is rapidly increasing. Research and common sense tell us that cars and high population density do not mix well, making the reduction of car use a worthy goal that also makes the community more sustainable by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions that occur due to the burning of gasoline.

To capitalize on this less obvious benefit, I urge regional leaders to improve bus, bicycle and pedestrian access to downtown from the rest of the borough and the surrounding townships. Improvements might include reducing bus fares, adding more bicycle lanes and racks, and timing crosswalk signals more effectively. Improving these alternative transit modes acknowledges a future in which we must systematically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. 

Danny Brouillette

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