MODESTO (CBS13) — The Tenth Street plaza in Modesto will soon be open to drivers in a move city leaders hope will improve the economy.
About 50 percent of the storefronts along the car-free street are vacant. In the heart of downtown Modesto is the Tenth Street pedestrian mall—a stretch of road that has kept drivers out since day 1.
The Modesto City Council voted to remove the barricades and open the street to traffic. A traffic light, no-parking signs and even crosswalks are already in place.
City planner Josh Bridegroom hopes the opening will attract business to the area filled with for-lease signs.
“The idea is to remove them see what happens. See if we can stir the economy here get some visibility and better exposure for these empty suites and the business that are in here right now.”
CBS13 counted five vacant storefronts after Starbucks and other eateries shut their doors, leaving the movie theater and not much else.
The city hopes to revitalize the rest of the street and beyond by offering incentives to lure new business owners.
“It would essentially pay business to come downtown. It’s a drop in the bucket for businesses, but it could be used for marketing. It appears to be just enough to push them over the edge, based on the experience in other communities”