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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Motorists are advised that both lanes of Albert Avenue, between Abbot Road and M.A.C. Avenue, will be closed to traffic this June to accommodate a pilot pedestrian-friendly area in downtown East Lansing.The closure will begin on Thursday, June 3, with signs installed in the area directing motorists to nearby parking. The Albert Avenue Garage, 188 Albert Ave., will remain accessible to eastbound Albert Avenue traffic from Abbot Road and the Grove Street Garage, 330 Grove St., will remain accessible to northbound and southbound Abbot Road traffic by taking Linden Street to Grove Street. A signed detour for motorists will also be in place utilizing Grand River Avenue, M.A.C. Avenue, Burcham Drive and Abbot Road.Traffic barricades will be installed, allowing downtown visitors to safely enjoy this exciting, new, pedestrian-centric space on Albert Avenue, titled Albert Alfresco. The area will feature decorative lighting, various types of seating and shade amenities, art installations, live music (during some early evening hours) and opportunities for community members to participate in various recreational activities and “Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime. Place Project” (Place Project) programming. Open alcohol and/or alcohol consumption will not be permitted in the pedestrian-friendly area unless in an approved outdoor dining area operated by an adjacent restaurant.Albert Alfresco will be a pilot project implemented throughout the month of June, with plans for City staff to consider whether to extend the program at the end of the month.“We have continued to receive feedback from community members and businesses about plans for activating this space in the downtown, so we’re excited to see how this pilot program is received,” said East Lansing Community & Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins. “Our hope is that it brings more foot traffic to downtown East Lansing to support local businesses and enjoy summer in a lively urban setting.”
The Albert Alfresco project was made possible by supporters of the Place Project and an additional $20,000 in funding from the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to beautify Albert Avenue. The DDA has also approved a $43,000 funding request for a new business support grant program to assist downtown East Lansing businesses with expanding their offerings outdoors this summer. Additional details about this grant program will be announced next week.Restaurant owners are also reminded that the City’s streamlined process and temporary elimination of fees for the temporary expansion of outdoor seating will continue through March 14, 2022.
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