Pedestrian-only spaces on portions of Kirkwood Avenue starting March 25

BLOOMINGTON – In a continued effort to safely advance economic vitality and quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Bloomington will again create pedestrian-only spaces on three blocks of Kirkwood Avenue, beginning March 25, 2021 and running through June 30, 2021.

This timeline may be modified due to the status of the state of emergency and/or COVID-related health department guidelines should the need arise. 

These closures will be for the following sections of Kirkwood Avenue:

  • Indiana Avenue to Dunn Street
  • Dunn Street to Grant Street
  • The west half of the block between Walnut Street and Washington Street 

In the summer and fall of 2020, intermittent closures of three blocks of Kirkwood Avenue to motorized vehicles allowed for businesses in those blocks to provide outdoor seating and commerce in the street to facilitate physical distancing while supporting the economic vitality of the downtown area.

The decision to reimplement these closures was made based on collaboration with Downtown Bloomington, Inc. and the Kirkwood Community Association, and with input from affected downtown businesses. Downtown Bloomington, Inc., conducted a survey of businesses in order to build consensus and determine the most effective measures.

The Board of Public Works voted to approve the street closures at their March 16, 2021 meeting. 

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton

Following the approval of the temporary street closures, Mayor John Hamilton commented, “These temporary street closures allow us to protect the health of diners and restaurant workers while still supporting our vibrant downtown restaurant district. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who has collaborated on this plan, making it possible for us to enjoy the upcoming warm weather and great meals in a safe, socially distanced atmosphere.”

North-south cross traffic will not be impacted, and the cross streets (Indiana Avenue, Dunn Street, Grant Street, Walnut Street, and the alley between Walnut Street and Washington Street) will remain open. For the two blocks from Indiana Avenue to Grant Street, a twelve-foot safety corridor will remain open down the middle of the street in order to accommodate emergency vehicles and meet safety requirements. The Department of Public Works and the Bloomington Fire Department will implement and maintain the street closures.