A good portion of downtown will once again be closed to car traffic for the summer.
An statement from the City of Reykjavík announces that Laugavegur will be closed to car traffic from Vatnstígur to Bankastræti; Skólavörðustígur will be closed from Bergstaðastræti to Bankastræti, and Pósthússtræti will be closed from Kirkjustræti to Hafnarstræti from May 1 to October 1. All of these portions of downtown will be reserved for foot and bicycle traffic only.
Originally, the plan was to close these streets from May 1 to October 1, but objections were raised from the Independence Party and the Progressives on City Council, who contended that this was too long a time to block car traffic from these areas. However, a recent Capacent poll showed that 76% of city residents were happy with the Summer Streets experiment, which has been gradually increasing the street closure times for the past few years now.
The closure is not without exceptions. These streets will be open from 8:00 to 11:00 on workday mornings, in order to allow the delivery of goods to local businesses.
If you own a car and are worried about being able to access Laugarvegur during this time, do not despair – as reported, there are enough parking garages downtown that you will never have to walk more than 3 minutes from one of them to Reykjavík’s main street.