I recently saw the headline of an article on philly.com: "Close Chestnut Street to cars (again) to make Center City more vibrant."
I strongly agree with this idea. I believe Chestnut Street should be pedestrian-only, from river to river (Delaware to Schuylkill).
I believe all, or most, buses that currently run east on Chestnut Street should be diverted onto Market Street, with perhaps one bus line diverted to Locust Street.
I believe a pedestrian-only Chestnut Street would attract businesses and promote shopping. I believe that it would serve as the commercial and cultural spine of Center City.
I believe many more restaurants and coffee shops would open with outdoor seating areas, which would in turn attract visitors and tourists, and further promote commercial activity.
I believe it would be Philadelphia's version of Barcelona's La Rambla, Mexico City's Calle Madero, Buenos Aires' Calle Florida, or San José's Avenida Central. As such, I believe a fully pedestrian Chestnut Street would help to raise Philly to world-class level.
Finally, I believe a converted Chestnut Street would symbolically signal Philadelphia's status as a green, environmentally-conscious city, which all cities should aspire to be in the 21st century.