From Iceland — Conflicting Reports On Laugavegur Closing

Conflicting Reports On Laugavegur Closing

Published May 1, 2012

A merchant representative claims most business owners on Laugavegur are against partially closing the street this summer, and that last summer’s closing hurt business – directly contradicting last year’s data.
Morgunblaðið reports that Jón Bragason, a spokesperson for some 48 businesses and real estate owners on Laugavegur, is urging Reykjavík city hall to not stop car traffic on the street this summer.
Jón claims that most business owners on Laugavegur are against the closing, and that business fell off by 10-20% last year while the street was closed. Closing the street disrupts the affairs of businesses, he says, mentioning as an example bakeries – that bakeries often sell cakes which cannot be delivered except by car.
However, there are no bakeries within the proposed closed-off section of Laugavegur. Also, foot traffic downtown increased by over 50% during the closing, which had an effect on more people going into shops, and merchants overall expressed satisfaction with the closing.
If all goes as planned, the city will be closing the street between Vatnsstígur and Skólavörðustígur from July 17 to August 20.

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