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Alfresco Dining Coming To Downtown East Lansing

Albert Avenue photo
Courtesy photo
City of East Lansing
No cars will be allowed on Albert Ave. from Abbot Rd. to M.A.C. Ave. starting Thursday.

This Thursday, the city of East Lansing will begin blocking cars from a part of Albert Avenue downtown for outdoor dining.

The project is called Albert Alfresco. With no motorized vehicles allowed from Abbot Road to M.A.C. Avenue through June, restaurants will be able to set up outdoor dining. Alcohol will only be allowed in those areas.

Adam Cummins is the community and economic development administrator for the city of East Lansing. He says the hope is that increased foot traffic will bring additional revenue to businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19. He says Albert Alfresco will "provide a place for people to lounge, get outdoors, participate in city programming, listen to live music. Overall, increase foot traffic.”

Cummins adds the pilot program will be evaluated at the end of June. “During the course of time, we’re going to continue to solicit input from stakeholders, business owners, and just kind of understand how it’s going," he concludes. "Is it having the desired impact, and should we keep moving forward? And if all answers kind of point towards yes, we’re going to look to extend it through the remaining of the summer.”

Cummins says installing infrastructure may require several days before cars are completely eliminated from Albert Avenue. Live music will be among the attractions.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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