Report: New Yorkers Like Ped Streets More Than They Expected
Using surveys and other data collected before and after last year's car-free events, Transportation Alternatives sheds some light on the upward trend in their new report, "I Walk in My Street" [PDF]. Here are some of the notable findings reported by TA:
- Before Summer Space, only 42% of respondents said they would visit Montague Street more often if it were closed to auto traffic; during the closure this number jumped to 72%.
- The percentage of respondents who rated the pedestrian experience of Montague Street as “Good” or “Very Good” increased from 79% before the closure to 97% during the events.
- 100% of those surveyed at the 78th Street Play Street felt that the event “enhanced the park and farmers’ market.”
- Pedestrian streets encourage walking: during the Williamsburg Walks event, 47% of those surveyed said that they had walked to the event, a 14% improvement over normal levels.
- Montague Street retailers experienced 26% higher sales during Summer Space than on comparable days in 2007, on average.
It takes a lot of preparation to put on a pedestrian street, and TA's report also includes detailed explanations of how each neighborhood pulled it off. You can learn how the organizers went about community outreach, city permitting, volunteer coordination, the whole shebang. While it's too late to apply for a pedestrian street this summer, if you're interested in bringing one to your neighborhood in 2010, it's never too early to get cracking on a game plan.