Are Main Streets a thing of the past? Is that OK? (reblog)

Are Main Streets a thing of the past? Is that OK? | Kaid Benfield’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

This blog post asks about the shape of our main streets across the country. We often say “small town main street” which leads me first to think of how our country is joining the trend of the world in urbanizing. There is no little main street in Seattle, there is 6th with it’s shops, buses, and bustling pedestrian mix. Secondly, I think of how we are also suburbanizing. We have huge malls to replace main street. Where I live in Vancouver, WA, our classicly appealing Main St is nearly silent most hours of most days, whether it is raining or not. A few miles away, there are traffic jams near strip malls in the suburbs. Third, I think of how in the past few centuries, we bought general goods from local general stores, from traveling salesmen, from taking purposeful trips to nearby stores, or visiting fairs and markets. We now use the internet to replace this method of receiving our wares- not just clothes and household goods, but even grocery store deliveries, take-out food, and in-home services like massage.

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