From Iceland — Merchants Protest Further Laugavegur Closings

Merchants Protest Further Laugavegur Closings

Published March 7, 2012

Despite last summer’s success, a group of some 40 merchants issued a joint statement calling for city council to leave Laugavegur open this summer.
Although there were some initial misgivings, last summer’s closing of Laugavegur was by many accounts a success. Most merchants responding to a RÚV poll said they were happy with the move, foot traffic increased from about 9,000 per day to 14,000 per day, and the street itself was only short 17 parking spaces during the brief period of the closing.
However, RÚV now reports that a group of merchants have sent a joint statement to Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr asking that he never close the thoroughfare again.
Björn Jón Bragason, spokesperson for the group, said in part that closing the street to car traffic “seriously cuts into shopping,” although no data is cited to back up the claim.
Björn Jón said the mayor graciously accepted his joint statement, adding that “going for walks has never been successful in Iceland. This is naturally due to gloomy weather and the popular use of the private car.”

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