INDIANAPOLIS — As restaurants prepare for a busy holiday weekend, they are also preparing for changes next week.
Starting Tuesday, Massachusetts Avenue and Broad Ripple Avenue will reopen to traffic. Since May, the roads have been shut down to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas.
Mayor Joe Hogsett made the announcement on Thursday, saying there is no financially feasible way to permanently close downtown streets that are in parking meter zones.
Matt Soverns, who brought his piano on Friday to perform in the street on Mass Ave, said he believes the city should rethink their decision.
“This section on lower Mass Ave should be permanently changed in the same way they have done it in New York City and Times Square,” he said.
But before this change happens, businesses need to get through Labor Day weekend. Marion County health officials are putting out a warning for people to be smart and safe.
“We do not want to see the community repeat the surge we witnessed after Fourth of July,” said Marion County Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine.
Stan Kols and his family came downtown for dinner Friday and said the city needs to continue to offer more outdoor seating to allow people to social distance.
“I think they should keep [the roads] closed or at least have outdoor seating around the city,” Kols said.
Some businesses on Mass Ave said they reserved parking spots with the city to continue their outdoor seating, while others will move indoors.
On Tuesday, Marion County bars and nightclubs will also open at limited capacity.