From Iceland — Portion Of Downtown Street Temporarily Pedestrian Only

Portion Of Downtown Street Temporarily Pedestrian Only

Published August 10, 2011

In response to demands from local merchants, Skólavörðustígur will be partially closed to car traffic for a few days.
RÚV reports that the street will be closed to car traffic between Bergstaðastræti and Bankastræti – a single city block. Furthermore, this closure will only be until Monday.
Originally, the street was to re-open last Monday, but the closing of the block has apparently been a boon to merchants.
This would be in keeping with how successful making downtown pedestrian-only has been. For example, last spring the city decided to close Laugavegur temporarily, between Skólavörðustígur and Vatnsstígur, and make it strictly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Initially, merchants complained that this would hurt their businesses, but after a one-month trial run, it came to light that the opposite had happened – pedestrian traffic there increased 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..
The city has promised to re-close this portion of Laugavegur next summer, for another month, but there is already a popular movement growing calling for Laugavegur to remain pedestrian-only.

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