The Fulton Mall debate has revolved around whether or not to return cars to the mall. Making this the central question is an example of the reversal of means and ends.
The people who support opening up the mall believe traffic will lead to an increase in the quantity and quality of commercial activity; this is the end they are pursuing, and it is a valid one to desire.
But why are cars seen as the only means to this end? And are there other ends that are equally or more desirable to pursue? The Fulton Mall's mid-century modern aesthetic — the sculptures, landscaping, fountains, materials, etc., are all a window on an era that is eternally unique. There will never be another mid-20th century California. Nor can we authentically replicate this aesthetic.
We need a more balanced approach to the mall's future, but we aren't given a balanced alternative to support, and our community leaders' bias toward action and quantitative measures of decision making, (e.g., "this project is projected to bring in this amount of sales taxes") commit them to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. And the people saying, "Please, don't do that!" aren't listened to.