Plaza St. Hubert, one of Montreal’s most distinctive and shopper-friendly neighborhoods, was recently named a top place to visit in Montreal by The New York Times. The district is well-known for its culinary offerings, from classics like smoked meat to new trendy eateries. It’s hard to resist the charm of its streets with unique glass awnings constructed in 1984 and the strong community vibe.
The Plaza St. Hubert Business Improvement District represents the 400 businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of the area. Mike Parente, General Director of Plaza St. Hubert BID, has implemented pedestrian counters to make data-driven decision making and planning part of maintaining a top-notch visitor experience.
Counting pedestrians at Plaza St-Hubert has not only allowed for accurate event attendance numbers, but also for a clearer picture of how foot traffic flows through the area. We chatted with Mike Parent to learn more about the insights that count data provided.
Is it more desirable to be walking on the sunny side of the street? A sunny sidewalk is viewed as more likely to bring pedestrian traffic, especially in northern climates. By consequence, the shady side of the street is often assumed to receive less traffic.
“[Counts are] useful when you have people that tell you they want a business in a certain area. They want a specific side of the street.[counting] convinces them there is no difference between one side or the other,” explains Parente.
Counts were measured at both sides of the street at several locations.
What did data show at Plaza St-Hubert? Comparing two counters on different sides of the street at the same location can give insight into shopper behaviour. Data shows that shady sidewalks aren’t a deterrent – there is no significant difference between the east sidewalk and the west sidewalk.
“We always expected that the east side of the street was the busier side,” notes Parente. Learning about where and when people are visiting on the street is important to understanding how customers move and communicating with stakeholders.
Event attendance can also be communicated effectively and accurately using counts. Plaza St. Hubert’s July event, Atmosph’air Festival on the Plaza, brought in approximately 400,000 revellers for three days of music. Accurate event attendance numbers inform planning and budgets.
With upcoming roadwork planned for Plaza St-Hubert, counts will continue to be an important resource to show impacts on footfall. For Parente, making sure people easily get to the area is of the utmost concern – whether by foot, bike, or vehicle. Counting is part of an overall strategy to focus on making the area accessible and easy to get to. “Make sure you make it about the customer and make it easy for them to get here,” adds Parente.
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