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All Star Weekend, no Polar Vortex leads to big increases in State Street pedestrian counts

Posted  4 years ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 312-782-9160


CHICAGO—If there was ever any doubt that last year’s Polar Vortex at the end of January and beginning of February 2019 slowed down the entire city, Chicago Loop Alliance’s State Street pedestrian counters can prove it.

The counters, installed in 2016, track pedestrian activity on the street from Wacker Drive to Ida B. Wells Drive. In total for the week of Feb. 3-9, the counters recorded 1,176,345 pedestrian impressions—a 12.6 percent increase from the same week in 2019. The U.S. average only saw an increase of .5 percent. For the week of Feb. 10-16, the counters recorded 1,204,448 pedestrian impressions—a 16.4 percent increase from the same week in 2019, likely attributable to both the milder winter weather and the NBA All-Star Weekend, which many State Street retailers capitalized on with pop-up shops and special promotions. The U.S. average only saw an increase of 2.6 percent.

“Chicagoans are pretty tough when it comes to the cold, but even we have our limits,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards. “We receive weekly reports from our pedestrian counters, and at first I was shocked to see such big leaps in activity compared to last year. But we think it makes sense, given that the weather has been milder and the All Star Weekend was in Chicago. Having this data is really valuable for an organization like ours, which advocates for businesses along State Street and works in the realm of economic development.”

Chicago Loop Alliance contracted the U.K.-based company Springboard to install and operate the pedestrian counters beginning in 2016, after piloting the counters in 2015. The system provides data on an hourly, daily and weekly basis, and it compares the Loop’s numbers to national trends. The counters capture data on pedestrian activity that is useful to retail tenants, investors, brokers and property owners on the street. Eighteen counters are located on the east and west sides of State Street from Wacker to Ida B. Wells Drive. Additional counters are at Michigan and Wacker, Michigan and Washington, and in the Pedway.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance’s (CLA) mission is to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events. For more information, please visit www.loopchicago.com.


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