The city of Reykjavík has announced that by all accounts, the closing of the main shopping street Laugavegur has been a success, and will likely be repeated next summer.
As many of our readers may remember, when initial plans to close Laugavegur seemed as though they were coming to fruition, many merchants complained that their businesses would lose customers. At the time, Kristín Soffía Jónsdóttir, vice chairperson of the Environmental and Traffic Department of Reykjavík, pointed out that as there are only 17 parking spaces along this 300 metre stretch of the main street, it is unlikely that closing it to car traffic would have much effect on business.
Today, it seems any worries about how closing the street would effect business have been put to rest. Vísir reports that the subsequent closing of Laugavegur has increased pedestrian traffic there from about 9,000 per day to 14,000 per day. This has also resulted in more people walking into the shops on that street.
Although the street-closing experiment comes to a close at the end of this month, merchants have overall expressed support for the move, and it is likely that closing Laugavegur will happen again next summer.