Strip Mall vs. Main Street

The strip mall is dead.

I recently read an article that started out with the sentence…“The American landscape is littered with the decaying corpses of strip malls.”  For decades, the strip mall has been characterized by a series of stores connected in a linear fashion and anchored in a sea of surface parking. The strip mall concept grew as our dependency on the automobile grew and as this happened, communities were stripped of once thriving main street cores and public gathering places.  Today, the strip malls are marked by cookie-cutter aesthetics, congested parking lots, traffic problems and unsafe walking conditions for pedestrians.  But communities are now seeking to move back to a time of vibrant social interaction and spaces that emphasize people over cars.

As a native San Diegan, and a 14-year resident in the Torrey Pines Planning Group area just west of Carmel Valley, I strongly support One Paseo, a village-like environment that provides the fundamentals of a main street with residences above stores mixed amongst an employment center. It provides just the density and scale needed to make people the priority. Its forward-thinking vision is firmly rooted in our past where people mingled and spent hours with one another.  The gussying up of our existing strip centers is not a bad thing, but it will not take the place of what is sorely lacking in our local community.  It’s time to go back to the future and bring Main Street to Carmel Valley.

Ian Stewart,

Del Mar Resident

Related posts:

  1. Reduce One Paseo but keep Main Street environment
  2. Main Street or mixed-use? Let’s discuss it!
  3. Opinion: Concerned citizens launch website on impacts of proposed Main Street project
  4. Opinion: Carmel Valley ‘Main Street’ project would create much-needed gathering place
  5. Carmel Valley: Battle begins to sway public opinion on Main Street project

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Posted by Staff on Mar 13, 2014. Filed under Letters, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Strip Mall vs. Main Street”

  1. Dick Hertz

    I disagree with you. Our neighborhood does NOT need any more traffic on Del Mar Heights Road.
    * If you lived in this area, you would know how disruptive this would be. It’s easy to say how great it is, but You Do Not live in the traffic pattern.
    We are families, with children , not an economic area on a map.
    Please visit our schools and families in this area; talk with us, you will understand how dangerous this will be for us!!!.
    Perhaps you do not udnerstand our neighbiorhood.
    ….. “JUST WEST” is not here, it’s too much for our streets, kids, school, traffic, don’t be selfish, come and spend time in this area!!

  2. Frohman

    Mr. Hertz – You do not live in a vacuum. You also are not the only “us” that exists. We too are families with children and do in fact understand the issues. Moreover, with your head in the sand you cannot see all the innovation that is going on around “us”. Many cities are upgrading their infrastructure at great cost to their general funds because the technology to more effectively manage traffic does exist. San Diego is behind the time no doubt but with private investment perhaps we can all get around just a bit better. Putting that aside, if you do have children then you must appreciate what the writer is saying – we need more places closer to where we live that can be enjoyed as a family. Have you Mr. Hertz ever walked with a 3 year old through the parking lot at the Highlands. Now that is dangerous. The strip mall is not a place conducive to family outings. Some of “us” want and feel that all of us deserve more.

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