PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Bikers and joggers had a one-mile stretch of Hope Street in Providence all to themselves for the past week.
It was a trial to see if it’s something that could become permanent to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.
The temporary bike path project stirred up a controversy, with some claiming it disrupted local businesses by taking up parking spots.
Providence residents told NBC 10 News on Sunday they liked being able to get outside without having to watch for traffic.
“I keep my head in a swivel when I'm skating down the street, but when I was down the bike path I didn't have to worry, it was great,” Lucas Pichette said.
The temporary bike path was installed on one side of Hope Street and ran from the gift shop Frog & Toad to Tortilla Flats restaurant and bar.
“I loved it,” Pichette said. “I noticed there was a lot more pedestrian traffic around here, I know every morning I skate to Seven Stars Bakery.”
Providence Streets Coalition Organizer Liza Burkin said the trial was a success in terms of feedback.
"It was an amazing week, we collected nearly 1,000 paper and online surveys, speed data, trail user counts, and parking occupancy rates,” she said in a statement.
She said the Coalition will spend the rest of the year compiling the data and writing up a report summarizing the findings.
After that, she said it will be up to the community to decide if it can become permanent.