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Car-Free Streets

Williamsburg Walks Doubles Foot Traffic on Bedford Avenue

wburg_walks.jpg

Transportation Alternatives has been measuring the effect of Williamsburg Walks, the car-free street event on Bedford Avenue, and look what they found:

Foot traffic on Bedford Avenue was 96% higher than the averageSaturday, based on pedestrian counts. The number of children and seniors using thestreet also increased. And because so much more space was available for walking andsitting, the street felt open and uncongested.

The numbers come from pedestrian counts conducted on two Saturdays earlier this summer, which averaged 240 people per 15-minute span, compared to a count of 470 pedestrians during the same interval on the first day of Williamsburg Walks.

These figures should help ease any lingering anxiety that opening streets up to pedestrians won't be good for local businesses. And they bolster the argument that car-free events should not be graded on the appearance of "crowdedness." If Bedford Avenue seems less bustling than usual when cars are gone and twice as many people are present, imagine how hemmed in pedestrians must normally be, when cars are taking up the street.

Photo: Neighbors Allied for Good Growth

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