The blocks from Dunn Street to Grant Street and Washington Street to Walnut Street on Kirkwood Avenue will be reserved for pedestrian traffic during the entire week for the remainder of the year, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington Oct.16.
The city decided to expand upon a June 9 decision from the Bloomington Board of Public Works that closed off Indiana Avenue to Grant Street and Washington Street to Walnut Street from vehicular traffic. The original ordinance only enforced the decision from Thursday afternoons to Monday mornings.
The city extended the pilot in hopes of creating economic growth in a safe setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants can continue to offer outdoor dining options for customers who may not be comfortable with indoor seating.
“This additional closure period will allow businesses to invest in outdoor infrastructure to help them serve customers during the colder months,” said Talisha Coppock, president of Downtown Bloomington, Inc., according to the press release.
To help with parking needs in the area, the city suggested employees and customers use the IU parking lots in the area. The IU lots offer free parking each night after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
The city also encourages the use of the Pick-up/ Drop-off parking spaces that have been in effect since Aug. 1 in more than 50 locations. The spaces are available for 15-minute increments to primarily assist restaurant customers.