Traverse City Proposal: Shut Down Front Street for Pedestrians
Not a bad idea leading up to the summer.
The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has a proposal to close two blocks of Front Street to traffic to allow pedestrians to better socially-distance themselves from each other.
The CEO of the DDA, Jean Derenzy, will present the proposal at their May 18th meeting.
The proposed plan would close two blocks of Front Street, from Park Street to Union Street, at the beginning of June. The closure would be in effect 24/7.
If you've never been to TC, Front Street is the hub of activity. By closing down part of Front Street, local businesses and restaurants will be able to reduce the crowds inside their establishments.
Cass Street, which is located right in the middle of the proposed closures, would remain to north/south vehicle traffic.
The idea is also that businesses on Front St. would be able to seat people outside and put up displays without impeding foot traffic. There would be removable barricades at all ends of the closure to allow for emergency vehicles to get through without hesitation.
Parking will still be available in the lots and side streets.
Business owners are in favor of the idea, saying that it will likely bring in more money for them if they're able to sell on the sidewalk - it will even out the lost revenue from fewer people in their restaurants/stores.
The National Cherry Festival has already been canceled, so the city is trying to ensure that they still attract tourists this summer. Sounds like a great idea to me; what do YOU think?