INDIANAPOLIS — The southwest quarter of Monument Circle in Indianapolis is now reserved for foot traffic until early November.

That’s because a new pedestrian-friendly has officially opened.

Spark on the Circle, a cooperative venture between city government and Downtown Indy, Inc., has transformed a portion of the street surrounding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument into a greenspace featuring food and beverages along with live music and activities. There are also chairs and shaded areas for people to just relax and enjoy the space.

A soft opening over last weekend drew around 5,000, said Deputy Mayor Scarlett Andrews. Andrews also said the event is part of a city initiative to provide more walkable activities for residents and visitors alike.

“I think there’s been a lot of questions marks about the future of this circle and how it could be designed to better accommodate pedestrians, bikers, and people with different abilities,” Andrews said. :That’s what we’re trying out right now.”

There have been calls by city residents to convert the entire circle to pedestrian-only. But Taylor Schaffer, President and CEO of Downtown Indy, Inc., notes consideration must be given to businesses on the circle and events that utilize it.

“Whether it’s the Circle of Lights, whether that’s the 500 Festival Parade, there are so many iconic moments that Monument Circle plays host to, and we want to make sure all of those pieces come together,” said Schaffer.

Spark on the Circle runs from 11 a.m. until dark daily. People looking to plan a visit are encourages to have a look at its website,