June 7, 2023

Public spaces will expand on Monument Circle and Georgia Street

Partial Monument Circle closure will last until November. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

Partial Monument Circle closure will last until November. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

Changes to public spaces in downtown Indianapolis are planned for Monument Circle and Georgia Street.

The southwest quadrant of the circle will be closed to vehicular traffic from July to November.  The area will be used for the arts group Big Car’s SPARK on the Circle, which features art, entertainment, food and activities for kids.  The program was held last summer, and Department of Metropolitan Development Director Rusty Carr said they are building on that effort.

“Scaling it up a bit this year and understanding the demand and the challenges this year,” Carr said, “It's a pilot, it’s an experiment and we’re learning and we’ll see where that takes us next year.”

The permanent closure of the circle has been discussed for years. The upcoming changes are part of the South Downtown Connectivity Vision Plan. 

Georgia Street will also receive upgrades that include green space and expanded sidewalks. The project will start near the convention center and the new Pan Am Plaza hotel project.

Georgia Street received its current makeover more than 10 years ago when the Super Bowl came to Indianapolis.

The efforts are aligned with a downtown resiliency strategy. The plan was conceived by the Hogsett administration during the pandemic to find ways to enliven the downtown area.

“If downtown Indy is a great place to live, it will naturally be a great place to work and a great place to play,” Hogsett said.

Art nonprofit GangGang collaborated with the city to survey residents about what downtown changes they wanted to see.

There will also be an added police presence near the area.  Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers will be more visible on foot and bike.

Next steps for the plan include an overhaul of the Union Station overpass and the Bicentennial Unity Plaza outside of the Pacers Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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