An Evaluation of a Kansas Open Streets Event’s Impact on Businesses

Authors

  • Danielle Gauna, MPH University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita
  • Jack Brown, MUA, R.S. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita
  • Kelsey Lu, M.S. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita
  • Matthew Martinez City of Wichita Park and Recreation
  • Elizabeth Ablah, Ph.D., MPH University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.vol1414662

Keywords:

Open Streets, Impact on businesses, Community health, Evaluation, Public health

Abstract

INTRODUCTION. Open Streets is an event that promotes physical activity among populations by encouraging city residents to walk and bicycle in streets blocked from motor vehicles. Engagement of businesses is a critical component of Open Streets. This study sought to evaluate the Open Streets ICT. 2019 event’s impact on adjacent businesses.

METHODS. A 12-item novel survey was developed for this study. Businesses eligible for study participation included retail and non-retail (e.g. non-profits, churches) sites along the Open Streets ICT route in Wichita, Kansas. To understand how Open Streets ICT impacted businesses the survey used Likert scale questions to prompt respondents to report sales and visitors experienced during the event. Additionally, respondents reported a percent difference in sales compared to a typical Sunday. Themes and subthemes were coded from recurring opinions.

RESULTS. A total of 102 surveys were completed, a 42% response rate. Most businesses (56%, n=56) reported being open during Open Streets ICT. Many businesses (72%) reported having “more” visitors compared to a typical Sunday. More than half reported they experienced new and regular visitors (54%, n=30) from the event. Most businesses (64%, n=36) reported a positive financial impact, and (52%, n=29) having more sales than a typical Sunday.

CONCLUSIONS. Open Streets ICT increased sales and the number of visitors among businesses. Respondents reported they plan to participate in the 2020 Open Streets ICT, and if Open Streets ICT was offered twice a year. Finally, most participating businesses reported they recommend that other businesses participate in Open Streets ICT.

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Published

2021-08-04

Issue

Section

Original Research