Economic Vitality

Economic Vitality

Transportation Matters for Main Streets


A Smart Investment

"Good transportation systems connect people to the jobs, education, and community supports that enable them to prosper and advance economically."
– Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

District leaders know restoring and supporting our districts’ economic vitality requires years of work and a deep understanding of the many factors that play a role in the overall success of the district. Since transportation design in commercial districts provides a crucial foundation to these efforts--affecting foot traffic, what businesses can and cannot do, flows of private and public investment, property values, and tourism--Main Street leaders should support the most efficient use of their transportation systems as part of achieving sustainable economic vitality.

The key is to create and support people-oriented streets that mitigate suboptimal development patterns and the need for expensive infrastructure, increase walkability, and encourage investment and entrepreneurship, all with the goal of a harmonious, safe, and cost-effective balance of people’s and vehicular needs.

Car-oriented roadways and streetscapes can create negative costs, such as:
  • Taxpayer costs for creation and maintenance of expanding roadways and infrastructure
  • Excessive parking
People-focused Main Streets reap more economic benefits because they encourage and create these conditions:
  • Increased visitation
  • Increased spending in the district
  • Retention of current residents and attraction of new residents
  • Individual economic opportunity
  • Entrepreneur investment and support
  • Small businesses support


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