Banning cars from Mexico City's Centro Historico and replacing streets with pedestrian pathways has increased nighttime foot traffic and decreased crime, say local business owners.

Before the street got pedestrianized, neighborhood business owners used to strike "unspoken" agreements with the local thieves, says Rogelio Murrieta, who owns a printing business on Regina.

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"The thieves who were from this area they went to other areas, they didn’t rob people from here," he says. "We’d give them something, support, and they respected us. It was a purchase basically."

Increased security in the area has also helped, and the historic district still has a long way to go, but "pedestrian streets offer the most encouraging image of what a fully revitalized Centro could become," reports Ruth Samuelson for Atlantic Cities.

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