City backs off Monument Circle traffic ban

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The city of Indianapolis has put its plan to ban traffic around the city's iconic Monument Circle on hold following opposition
from residents, businesses and arts groups.

Officials announced plans last month to cut off traffic on the city's central plaza in August as a test for making it
a permanent, pedestrian-only plaza. But city spokeswoman Jen Pittman said Monday that officials now realize more discussion
is needed on the proposal.

She says the traffic closure plan "took some people by surprise" and her office received hundreds of e-mails from
people apprehensive about shutting off the plaza to vehicles.

Monument Circle is the nation's largest Civil War memorial and the area serves as an impromptu gathering spot for sports-
and arts-related rallies.

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