Would eliminating cars Make El Paseo Great Again?

El Paseo, Palm Desert’s slowing dying shopping and restaurant district, has been looking for ways to save itself from a slow death for as long as we can remember – with plans ranging from  a movie theatertaller buildings, professional offices, piano bars, and balloons!  So far, none of the plans, not to mention the annoying speed bumps and oddly painted crosswalks, have seemed to catch fire with the public in Making El Paseo Great Again (#MEPGA).  Now, a Desert Sun chipped in with an idea this week which begs the question: Would eliminating cars Make El Paseo Great Again?

The letter to the editor, which begins by taking a shot at El Paseo’s weird art, then gets into the issue of cars on the street.

But the bigger question is why we don’t have a “car free” El Paseo? There is limited parking along El Paseo, a huge garage behind Saks, and people seem to prefer walking and browsing the stores — much better visibility than through the window of a car.


It should be a pedestrian street from Larkspur to Highway 74. What are the plans to move in this direction? Also, biking along El Paseo is very dangerous with no bike lane.

And while the thought of having to walk a bit to get to their stores or Happy Hours surely would make many of the elderly Palm Desert crowd shudder, taking traffic off the street would surely do a lot to cure the anxiety of anyone who has tried to negotiate a clean 4-way-stop on the street and might actually get some people to ride those yellow golf cart shuttles Palm Desert taxpayers are doling out a bunch of money for.

To be clear, this is just an idea pitched by a resident and not an actual plan put forth by the city at this point – as leaders seem to be preoccupied with crafting ridiculous voting districts these days instead of coming up with innovative ideas to help save its dying entertainment and retail district.


  1. Sadly, there are many many older people who
    Live or visit the desert and can’t do that much walking. I think it’s a bad idea. I love El Paseo.

  2. This is the worst idea ever. As a business owner on El Paseo, I need (and pay for) the visibility on El Paseo. I have countless number of customers who mention to me, ‘I was driving through and saw your store..’. It’s plus business as far as I am concerned. Additionally, walking on El Paseo in the summer months(for example) is not possible, due to being baked from the lack of shade. If El Paseo district wants improvement, there needs to be quick and decisive planning to include more shade (more palms over the sidewalkways, overhangs, sunshades, etc, whatever.) for pedestrians to enjoy this area in the summer months. Perhaps incentivize building owners for improvements. And to come back to the cars.. some stores, like mine, are destination stores, where driving to and parking is the primary method of visiting. I would die a slow death if it was a walking only strip of shops. it’s hard enough as it is with the landlords squeezing business owners dry with the high rents on El Paseo, let’s not kill it altogether.

  3. No cars – A truly Dumb and dumber idea !

    EP – Needs more hotels and restaurants.
    Visitors spend money. Go vertical.

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