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Melburnians return to CBD as restriction announcement looms

The city’s foot traffic sensors counted almost 3500 people passing through the mall between 1pm and 2pm on a typical Wednesday pre-lockdown.

That almost halved to 1859 on Wednesday, March 18, three days before social distancing laws were introduced.

Foot traffic in Bourke Street Mall was higher on Wednesday than in the previous four weeks.

Foot traffic in Bourke Street Mall was higher on Wednesday than in the previous four weeks. Credit:Chris Hopkins

On March 25, just 592 people were in the mall and two weeks later there were only 337.

This Wednesday, the number has doubled, with 751 people recorded passing through the sensors at the same time of day.

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It is still a long way off numbers seen in the mall before the pandemic, but shows a steady return to the crowds we are used to seeing in the city.

The City of Melbourne has set up sensors at fixed locations throughout the CBD and surrounding areas that count pedestrians passing through each hour.

The sensors are installed on light poles or awnings, and keep track of the footpath below.

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