Is it time for a car-free Central Avenue? Road to be fully pedestrianized on Halloween

Pinellas County

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Central Avenue is going car-free for Halloween and a group wants to keep it that way.

“Foot traffic is huge in this area,” said Sean Suits, the partial owner of Grassroots Coffee Shop on Central Avenue, which relies on the street’s pedestrian population.

Suits is intrigued by the idea of permanently removing traffic from the road.

“There’s definitely concerns and a lot of it is the parking. It might be just the short term of people getting a little bit scared off,” he said.

“I think it would be more of a concern for newer businesses that aren’t established. If it turns into a walking district the same amount of people, if not more, will get the exposure. It’ll draw people inversus just driving down and they might see that you’re there but they might not stop,” Suits added.

“Car-free St. Pete” is leading the initiative. They plan to shut down 22 blocks of the street for “Halloween on Central” on Sunday, starting at Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

The group’s organizers say this will create a safe space for walkers, bike riders and skateboarders.

Suits says he hopes to see the return of extra outdoor seating for restaurants. Early on in the pandemic, restaurants were given permits, which allowed them to utilize their parking spots for patio seating.

“I think it’s something St.Pete needs and would bring just a really cool feel to this area,” Suits said.

Members from “Car-free St. Pete” say they plan to meet with city leaders after Sunday to see if it’s a viable option for the future.

More information about “Halloween on Central” is available on the EDGE District’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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