Saturday March 7 will see the next Rīga street to be closed to motorised traffic for the day following the success of previous experiments in January and February.
This time the barriers will be going up on Ģertrudes Street all the way from Brīvības Street to Čaka Street – with local businesses and residents expected to benefit, announced Rīga City Council February 5.
The first two car-free days, on Terbatas Street and Blaumaņa Street, have been rated as “positive” by the council with statistics on traffic and business usage collected at the same time by the City for People NGO. Tentative conclusions so far suggest that family-oriented businesses and cafes were the winners of the Blaumaņa street closure, while high-end and luxury shops suffered as their patrons tend to drive everywhere.
“Thanks to non-governmental organisations, Blaumaņa Street looked very interesting and creative much more than on Terbatas Street, even though the weather was worse. That means we go forward to Ģertrudes Street in March, which will be even more interesting for visitors,” promised Rīga mayor Oļegs Burovs.
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.