The city of Indianapolis on Wednesday announced that it has reopened Illinois Street to vehicles after closing it as part of the Dine Out Indy program.
Illinois Street from Georgia Street to Market Street has been closed since May 19 as part of a multi-street closure intended to create more thoroughfares for pedestrians and space for restaurants to expand outdoor dining at a time when indoor dining is restricted by COVID-19.
The other street closures—to Massachusetts Avenue, Broad Ripple Avenue and Georgia Street—will remain in effect through July 4, the city said. Monument Circle has already reopened entirely to vehicular traffic.
Crews began removing equipment from Illinois Street early Wednesday morning to reopen the one-way street to northbound traffic.
After monitoring pedestrian use since the initial closure, Indianapolis Department of Public Works officials said they have not seen the same increase in the volume of pedestrian traffic on Illinois Street that has been experienced on the other closed streets.
“While we are witnessing successful, safe distancing practices among pedestrians in some of our closure locations, we just aren’t seeing the number of people using Illinois Street to continue justifying its emergency closure,” Indy DPW director Dan Parker said in written comments.
Restaurants along that stretch of Illinois Street include Harry and Izzy’s, St. Elmo Steak house, Weber Grill, Bucca di Beppo and Giordano’s.
Craig Huse, owner of St. Elmo Steak House and Harry & Izzy’s, was among those who were critical of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s decision to close the streets when it was announced in mid-May.