INDIANAPOLIS — Come this weekend Massachusetts Avenue and Broad Ripple will be open for traffic after months of being closed to pedestrians.
“The latest we expect Mass Ave to be open to motorists is this weekend,” said Hannah Scott with Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW). “We started out as as temporary thing.”
DPW crews began opening Broad Ripple on Tuesday before they head downtown for more work. Restaurants will be allowed to keep their extended patio spaces open with barriers into the street until Nov. 30.
In certain spots, some of these barriers extend into the road, and could become an issue for scooter riders, bikers or pedestrians trying to share the road with vehicles.
“I do worry a little bit about safety, people have grown accustomed to just walking up and down the street,” said Mark Weghorst, owner of Slapfish Seafood. “I would like to see it closed permanently, as it’s just so neat. But that’s hard to say to someone who relies on parking in front of the store.”
“We encourage bikers, drivers, and scooters that are all on the road to be safe, and keep an eye out, and be mindful of who is around you,” said Scott. “[Scooter and bike riders] should still be on the roads using those like they always are.”
The barricades were originally supposed to come down in July, but the closure became a popular boost for the area.
“Because of the atmosphere, I think they are more apt to come out and shop,” said Gina Huff, assistant manager and volunteer coordinator at Global Gifts. “There is parking for customers directly in front of the store, and it will be nice to have that back.”
In total, 110 parking spots will still be utilized by the restaurants extended patio spaces. The city will continue to front the bill for any parking meters closed off by the barriers. DPW says financials did play a factor into opening the roads back up.