(Above) Near intersection of Randolph & State Streets in the Loop. Photo by Adam Alexander.
The decline in pedestrian activity in downtown Chicago is typical for the entire country, according to a new report.
21-Feb-21 Pedestrian activity in the Loop last year was less than half of what it was in 2019.
Chicago Loop Alliance says its measure of people walking on State Street, from Wacker Drive south to Ida B. Wells Drive, was down 58 percent in 2020 from 2019. Vehicle traffic was down 39 percent.
The Loop has suffered enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Michael Edwards (left), president/CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. Office workers largely stayed home, many other workers were laid off or furloughed, and tourism took a huge hit. The Loops storefront economy cannot be sustained by downtown residents alone. We are hopeful the COVID-19 vaccine starts to bring people back downtown safely.
Edwards says his organization, tasked with attracting people to the Loop and accelerating economic recovery, is exploring projects and programs that will build energy in the Loop once again.
2020 started with pedestrian activity up one percent over the same period in 2019. Beginning with lockdowns in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, activity plummeted 80 percent from a year earlier, to a level never previously recorded, says CLA. It was up slightly during protests in May and again during looting in August.
The decline in pedestrian activity in downtown Chicago is typical for the entire country. Pedestrian activity in downtowns nationwide last year, according to the CLA report, was down 59 percent from 2019.