Last night, City Council members approved initial designs of what the new stretch between 8th and 12th streets will look like as well as environmental documents. Allowing car traffic back on K is seen as a way to help boost business for shops and restaurants on the mall.
But Councilman Ray Tretheway said it'll still be pedestrian-friendly.
"We're not allowing cars to trump the pedestrian atmosphere and the walkability, otherwise we would have reduced the sidewalk widths and have cars parked. So we've made a very concerted effort to put pedestrians first."
City officials say construction could start in six-months with cars back on K Street by this time next year.
K Street has been closed to vehicle traffic since the late 1960s…when the city decided to follow a nationwide trend of creating pedestrian malls. The intent was to attract shoppers but ultimately the strategy decimated retail in numerous downtowns around the country.