Cars will be banned from Blaumaņa street in central Rīga on February 1 in the latest of a series of experimental road closures.
The entire length of the street will be accessible only to pedestrians and cyclists, with many local businesses expected to show an extra effort to capitalize on the brief period as a pedestrian precinct between 10:00 in the morning and 20:00 in the evening.
The residents of Blaumaņa Street, who park their cars in the courtyards, are urged by the Riga City Council to plan their day in advance as access will not be possible except in the case of an emergency. Drivers who have purchased a monthly pass or a resident’s card, will be able to park their car free of charge at nearby parking lots, and restrictions on parking along the street will come into force from Friday evening.
According to survey data after the first such experiment on Terbatas Street in January, the attendance and profits of local cafes and retail outlets increased by about 30%.
According to a post on Facebook , activists and businesses are preparing for the day of the experiment and inviting the public to join them for a variety of creative activities on the street including literary readings, mind games, street food and “micro concerts” organized by residents, businesses and organizations.
As previously reported by LSM, Rīga City Council plans to close one of its downtown streets for private transport on the first Saturday of every month in 2020, giving it over to exclusive use by pedestrians and cyclists. The aim of the mobility experiment is to revitalize the city center by promoting population mobility and urban development.