Laugavegur, Reykjavík’s main street, will close to car traffic on 1 July, becoming pedestrian and cyclists exclusive. However, only a portion of the street will close, and even then for only one month.
As the Grapevine reported, the plan has been in the works for some time. Kristín Soffía Jónsdóttir, vice chairperson of the Environmental and Traffic Department of Reykjavík, said last month of the idea, “If this is done, it will be done for the city residents, for Laugavegur and for business owners. We are certain that it will be positive for everyone.”
However, many Laugavegur merchants were strongly against the idea, contending that if people could not drive their cars down the street, that their businesses would drop off tremendously. Kristín pointed out that only 17 parking spaces would be inaccessible if the plan were to go into effect, and side streets joining the blocked portion of Laugavegur would still be open.
DV now reports that the plan has been approved. On 1 July, the stretch of Laugavegur between Vatnsstígur and Skólavörðustígur will be closed to car traffic. However, delivery trucks for businesses will have access to this portion of Laugavegur between 8:00 and 11:00, and this stretch of road will re-open for cars on 1 August.
After the street is opened, the city will assess how the experiment went, and whether or not to repeat it.