Downtown East Lansing opens a pedestrian-friendly area on Albert Ave.


EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) Starting today, part of Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing will be completely closed down for the entire month of June, for the city’s “El Fresco” look and feel.

Adding “El” rather than “Al” to the Italian term is something city officials feel adds a personal touch to the Place Project, along with all decor that is set to go up at 7 am, on June 3.

“We wanted to have fun with it, making it East Lansing,” said Adam Cummins, East Lansing Community Development, one day before the scheduled set up.

To accommodate this summer pilot project, the city will add a pedestrian-friendly area to eat, drink, and socialize, also allowing restaurants to expand their outdoor seating into the street.

Both lanes of Albert Avenue will be closed starting at Abbot Road and ending at the M.A.C. Avenue, there will be detour signs on both ends, and along Grand River Avenue. 

The middle of the street will feature decorative lighting, various types of seating, and shade amenities. Guests will be surrounded by art installations, live music, and live performances.

Free recreational activities and games will also be placed, city officials say this is all to help businesses recover from the pandemic, and hopefully bring more people back out.

“We are obviously in recovery mode from the pandemic and this is just one piece of the puzzle that we’ve been implementing,” said Cummins.

Full decor and activities will be available in the coming week, open alcohol or alcohol consumption is not permitted in the pedestrian-friendly area unless in the dining area operated by a restaurant.

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