The Greenway Carousel. Photo courtesy of the conservancy.
The Greenway Carousel. Photo courtesy of the conservancy.

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy said Monday that the greenway had roughly 853,000 visitors in 2013, up from about 697,000 the previous year.

The greenway is a 1.5-mile-long string of parks in Downtown Boston that was largely created after the Big Dig construction project removed the Central Artery highway and relocated it underground.

The conservancy said it has tracked greenway attendance since early 2009. Attendance has increased as more events and programs have been added to the greenway’s calendar.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Also helping to boost the number is the expansion of Mobile Eats, the conservancy’s food vending program. This year, 15 new vendors are set to participate in the progam, for a total of 30 food trucks and trikes.

In compiling attendance figures, the conservancy said it looked at such input as customer traffic for Mobile Eats participants. The conservancy also factored in the number of tickets sold for the Greenway Carousel. And the conservancy said it also included headcounts from the greenway’s major events.

“The Greenway is increasingly serving as the spine for downtown,” Jesse Brackenbury, the conservancy’s executive director, said in a statement. “A visit to the Greenway often includes exploration of the New England Aquarium, the Harbor Islands, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Children’s Museum, or the North End.  We look forward to adding more reasons to visit the Greenway District as the area continues to develop — public art in the park, the opening of the Boston Public Market, and cafes along the edges.”

The nonprofit conservancy maintains, programs, and improves the greenway on behalf of the public and in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.