Moving buses and other traffic off of State Street is a fantastic idea. Why not "go big" and include the Capitol Square as well? The entire area could be a pedestrian zone with outdoor dining and shopping that would reinvigorate the area.
Clearly, those decisionmakers who oppose the idea have not been to the area lately. It has become a shabby and forlorn area with empty storefronts, boarded-up windows, and trash in many empty doorways and nooks.
Why must the reflexive response to a bold idea like this be an emphatic "no" because it requires a change to bus routes and the planned Bus Rapid Transit? The alternate routes that are employed frequently during Downtown events work well and are rarely more than a block or two off of State Street and the Square.
Perhaps use a small electric bus to run a one-lane loop traversing State Street and the Square, similar to those in European cities with large pedestrian zones. Imagine State Street vibrant and alive again. It can happen. It only requires bold leadership that is willing to envision constructive change and resolve to make it happen despite the obstacles.
Scott Favour, Madison