Save Our Mall

 Background of Issue:

On Tuesday, November 5, 1996, the citizens of Kalamazoo will have the opportunity to vote YES on an amendment to the Ordinance governing the downtown mall. Only a YES vote will give the people of Kalamazoo a voice, now and in the future, in deciding whether or not to allow vehicular traffic on our historic downtown mall.

In July of 1995, the City Commission adopted a downtown revitalization plan drawn up by the consulting firm LDR International. One component of this plan calls for altering the pedestrian mall to create traffic and parking lanes. In public meetings prior to adoption of the plan, many citizens voiced strong objections to the introduction of automobiles and trucks to the historic pedestrian mall. In addition, over 2,000 signatures were gathered on a petition urging the City to reject opening the mall to vehicular traffic. In spite of these objections, the Commission approved the plan as presented.

Following this action, supporters of the mall again circulated petitions, gathering over 1500 valid signatures to place a proposal on the November ballot to make it "unlawful for the City Commission ... to redesign and reconstruct the Kalamazoo Mall ... for the purpose of permitting automobile traffic and/or parking ... without a favorable vote of a majority of the registered electors.