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Fort Worth Considers Downtown Pedestrian Mall

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Sundance Square is in the middle of the facelift and the overhaul could now include more open space.

Main Street, between 3rd and 4th streets, is closed off each year for special events, but it could be closed permanently beginning in October.

“The city staff felt that the opening and closing and the unpredictability of the street was really one of the biggest problems to planning for traffic,” said Johnny Campbell, President and CEO of Sundance Square.

In an effort to make Sundance Square even more pedestrian friendly, the city suggested closing it permanently to avoid traffic issues in the future.

The move would divert northbound traffic to Commerce and Southbound traffic to Houston street, which is what occurs during the nearly 90 events for which Main street is closed.

The move would connect the two parking lots on either side of Main Street, in which new buildings are being built, making it a one-acre pedestrian only plaza.

Campbell is hoping the new and improved Sundance Square becomes a destination where people can visit new shops and restaurants, enjoy an interactive fountain, and a pavilion and permanent stage.

“I think anything that the city can do to help pedestrians get around downtown is going to be great,” said Gina Morgan, a Fort Worth resident, who works Downtown.

Construction has hurt nearby businesses like Yumilicious, a yogurt shop along 4th Street. Business owner Losan Magid is hoping the new pedestrian friendly space can bring in more foot traffic.

“If you can hang until October, until they open, it’s going to be a lot better, I think,” he said.

The plan has been endorsed by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, but it’s not a done deal just yet.

Fort Worth City Council will vote on on the measure at their meeting at the end of January.

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