The letter from Tony DiStefano published on Dec. 8 contained many valid concerns about a massive overbuilt parkway with which I concur.
However, the idea that a freeway – instead of a more conservative bypass built within the current right of way – would hurt the downtown business district is not sound. Shopping downtown is a choice and a destination event in itself, drawing people to unique shops in a relaxed, pedestrian-friendly area. Downtown businesses are desirable, in part because there is no congestion. Unnecessary pass-through traffic would change all of that, so I disagree that “all roads should lead downtown.”
Downtown residents certainly don’t want to lose Aiken’s charming village atmosphere. Neither do the realtors who bank on it. Thankfully, one-way streets and parkways make the core of Aiken unable to accommodate any increase in traffic.
So, thanks but no thanks. Residents don’t want more traffic passing through downtown, and I believe downtown businesses should be wary of the suggestion that they need it.
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