Tērbatas Street no longer traffic-free

Sunday, August 16, was the last day that Tērbatas Street belonged to pedestrians, Latvian Television said August 16.

The month-long experiment has concluded and Monday, August 17, the street is opened for car traffic. Whether this street will be closed for transport next summer, is not yet known. The new Riga City Council will take this decision.

Most traders and visitors told Latvian Radio they would want this street to be closed during the warm period of the year. “There was always a sense of holiday in the street,” said visitors. However, there are also people who are not happy with the new concept.

Neighborhood residents have enjoyed this time around. Though, they also admit that congestion on the other streets around Tērbatas Street was obvious.

Several people acknowledged that they greatly appreciate seating places that are not attached to companies. You can sit there, relax or work, enjoy your food with you – no obligation to purchase something.

Local entrepreneurs also viewed the pedestrian street positively, regarding it more of an advertising for their business, because despite the influx of visitors, they don't buy more. Margarita, owner of shop "Saules Laiva", said she hasn't had more customers but "people at least notice".

However, in a local floral shop, the many visitors make work difficult - many come to see, walk through the shop and talk about plant care, but  don't buy anything. As a result, employees have to work more. In addition, plants are now more frequently stolen.

Until September 16, every person can express his or her opinion on Tērbatas Street by filling out a questionnaire on the Riga municipal portal. The benefits and risks of the idea will be assessed, but the new councillors will have to decide on whether any streets of Riga will be closed for traffic in order to allow pedestrians to move safely.

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