Pedestrianism a World Cup Legacy in Cape Town

Pedestrianism is on the rise in Cape Town, South Africa, where the recent World Cup has inspired more citizens to get out of their cars and put their feet on the street.

A "Fan Walk" of pedestrianized street during World Cup events in Cape Town brought tens of thousands of people into the street. Officials there are hoping the positive experience will translate into a stronger pedestrian tradition.

"They called it the Fan Walk, 1.6 miles of asphalt connecting a public soccer viewing area downtown with the newly constructed Green Point Stadium. The path was mobbed with people during the city's eight World Cup matches; a sea of fans, performers, and kids running wild. The street party was a big change for a city and country that has shied away from venturing beyond the comfort and security of the private automobile.

'The motorcar is central to everything we do,' says Dave Dewar, chair of City and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town's School of Architecture and Planning."

Full Story: World Cup legacy: more bids to get South Africans out of their cars



Super Bowl had similar effect in Detroit

The 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit had a similar effect on transit use in Detroit, at least for big events. Prior to the Super Bowl, it was expected that all major events would have parking on site to accomodate everyone driving to the event in automobiles. Very few Detroiters would have even thought about taking a bus to a major event.

The organizers of Super Bowl XL wisely realized that the senario of everyone driving to the big game and events surrounding it wouldn't work, despite the relatively new stadium being in the heart of downtown which is full of parking ramps and surface lots and crisscrossed with an amazing network of interstate highways. They instituted a shuttle bus service from area malls to downtown coordinated with the area public transit providers (many routes using city busses). What happened during Super Bowl week was hundreds and thousands of suburbanites cheerfully standing in long lines in the middle of the winter to ride the city bus (many for the first time in their life) to and from downtown with almost entirely rave reviews of the ride and how much easier, interesting and cheaper it was to get around dowtown on foot and not have to worry about the car.

Since the Super Bowl, it's become a staple of major events to have shuttle service via city busses, even in surburan locales (as was the case for this weekend's Arts, Beats & Eats Festival in suburban Royal Oak). Many are realizing that regular, fixed route busses can get them to large special events as well. I know this is trivial in most metro areas, but for Detroit this is a major change in attitude about public transit.

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