While pedestrian-only streets are something we’d like to see more of in Seattle neighborhoods, after three years of the Pike People Street pilot, we fail to see why this program was written off as successful and worth duplicating elsewhere.

The first year seemed to capitalize best of the late-night party weekend party vibe on Pike Street in Capitol Hill, but businesses that weren’t making money off it didn’t like it.

It also really didn’t serve anyone but the party crowd, so city departments decided to make the second year more inclusive by holding Pike People Street events earlier in the day.

That revision wasn’t a bad idea, but it might have been best to scrap the 2016 pilot when a delayed start pushed Pike People Street into fall. That not only resulted in rescheduling planned closures, but also people simply not wanting to take advantage of the added outside amenities because, well, fall in Seattle is generally cold and wet.

So, we were surprised when it was announced that Pike People Street would be tripling down in summer 2017. At least the weather wouldn’t be miserable.

Last year actually seemed more successful, at least in terms of support from those surveyed from the general public. Businesses continued to see no real positive impact, save for the 5 percent that reported higher than average sales during Pike People Street nights. Many of the restaurants afforded outdoor cafes scrapped them because they just weren’t worth the effort.

What we’ve learned from these three years of Pike People Streets is that people will take advantage of open streets when given the chance, because, let’s face it, the sidewalks on Pike are terrible. Capitol Hill will naturally draw people out at night, mostly for eating and drinking, and not so much just because a certain portion of Pike is closed to vehicles. And businesses either didn’t like it, or seemed more neutral than positive.

SDOT seems determined, however, to keep the spirit of Pike People Street alive, and is now accepting applications from other Seattle communities interested in replicating this program in their own neighborhoods.

The design and programming for these new People Streets will be more dependent on neighborhood organizations than SDOT or any other city department, and maybe that’s what is needed to make this program better. Maybe there could be some really strong events tied to these street closures. Last summer, a portion of the Pike People Streets took place during the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk, which was all well and good, but most of the time people have to go into businesses to expereince the art walk, and many participating businesses fell outside of the closure area. Still, it never hurts to have more seating when the night is nearing its end, and it’s time for that street hot dog before heading home.

Since this going to happen whether we poke fun or not, we should at least cross our fingers that these People Streets are more exciting and successful in other neighborhoods; maybe ones that might not attract a large amount of foot traffic organically. Like any good party, there will definitely be city staff out there to survey how much fun everyone is having.