Taxies, sidewalk signs, what to do with homeless folks, wondering groups of people…just a few of the issues our city is dealing with downtown. It’s a little counter intuitive because for the most part, downtown, State Street and the Capitol Square, are just great places to be, with lots of activities, restaurants, shops and yes, bars. But the issues we just listed are important and as we’ve been thinking about them we’ve been running up against a question that may need to be answered again: is State Street a street…or is it a pedestrian mall?

Depending on how you answer that question life on Madison’s most important thoroughfare differs, different choices are made, and resources may be allocated one way or another. This is an important public safety question for sure. But it’s also just a smart question of our city in general. What’s best? What do we want? Street or mall? Let’s decide.