The city of Indianapolis on Wednesday announced it was extending closures of segments of Broad Ripple Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and Georgia Street as part of its Dine Out Indy initiative.
The three sections will now remain closed through Labor Day, Sept. 7. The segments had been scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 20.
The Dine Out Indy program was established in May to help restaurants and other businesses in dense commercial areas expand or add outdoor seating options as the city reopened following pandemic stay-at-home orders. As part of the program, the city fast-tracks the mandatory permitting process.
More than 100 businesses have received permits to participate in the program.
“As we continue to evaluate public health data and monitor pedestrian counts, we believe the volume of visitors to Broad Ripple Avenue, Georgia Street, and Mass Ave continue to warrant additional space to safely distance within these street segments,” said Indy Department of Public Works Director Dan Parker in written remarks.
The city said all three closures will continue in their current configurations, but the DPW is reviewing whether additional parking can be made available to the Mass Ave area.
The closures are as follows:
—Massachusetts Avenue, from its intersection with College Avenue to its intersection with New York and Delaware streets.
—Georgia Street, from Pennsylvania to Illinois streets.
—Broad Ripple Avenue, from College Avenue to Monon Trail.
The program originally included sections of Illinois Street and Monument Circle, but those areas have since reopened.
On Tuesday, IBJ asked Mayor Joe Hogsett whether the city would consider making the street closures, especially the one on Mass Ave, permanent.
Hogsett said businesses in Mass Ave have varying opinions about the closure and whether it’s been beneficial. The city, he said, is also somewhat constrained by its existing contract with ParkIndy LLC, which operates the city’s parking meters.
“We’re thinking about all options,” Hogsett said. “We want to be flexible.”
One option might be to reopen the streets to traffic but maintain parts of the public right of way for outdoor dining, he said.