This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

Turn Fifth Avenue through the Gaslamp into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare permanently, at least nighttime. Could allow delivery or other vehicles during the mornings/daytime. This would be similar to Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade or San Jose’s Santana Row. Allow restaurants to bring patio seating to the edge of sidewalk, open street to pedestrians, include stages for various performances, “island” businesses. Encourage more retail to balance out the restaurants. I’m thinking Fifth from Broadway to Harbor, but could be variations of this on other streets — perhaps Fourth, tying into future plaza at north end of Horton Plaza. This is essentially making permanent what is done for festivals now. One additional attraction could be adding a track down the center and using one of the historic trolley cars to go back and forth on Fifth. It would move visitors and be a nice visual.

Tegan Glasheen submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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