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Fourth Street in Charlottesville Reopens, Community Members Respond

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The city of Charlottesville announced it would open the Downtown Mall crossing at Fourth Street September 9 with the blessing of Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro.
     
The decision was met with mixed feelings from people downtown September 9.

On day one of Fourth Street's reopening, many cars drove along the same path that infamous grey dodge challenger traveled nearly a month ago in the attack that took Heather Heyer's life.
     
The city's decision to reopen the Downtown Mall crossing is receiving mixed reviews.

“It’s kinda sad to see it’s just going on everyday business as usual and it really you know shouldn't be, it should be some kind of memory of what happened here.

All agree what transpired on Fourth Street on August 12 was a tragedy, but some think it's time to try to move on.

“Something horrific did happen here no question about it will be remembered for years to come but most people think it’s time to open the street to have things flow once again,” said Larry Engle. 

Some people in the community believe some sort of permanent memorial should be erected in honor of Heyer.

“I don’t think a person who lost their life should be forgotten in such a way like it never happened,” said Jeanie Zaccone.
 “If they’re going to clean the memorial up completely you know they could’ve left something behind other than wax on the ground and like stems of flowers,” said Averi Zaccone. 

With the road reopened, the safety of this downtown mall crossing is once again drawing scrutiny.

“I don’t think it’s really safe …I think it’s kind of unnecessary to have traffic driving through a mall,” said Averi Zaccone. 

The city says its traffic engineering and public safety teams are assessing pedestrian safety in Downtown Charlottesville, with plans to make recommendations for any changes in the future.

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