Starting this weekend, no vehicles will be allowed on Jefferson Street on Friday and Saturday nights.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Jefferson Street will be closed between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
Officials say that cross streets — Vermilion, Congress, Garfield, and Cypress — will remain open to through traffic. Uber and Lyft drivers and users are encouraged to use these cross streets as drop-off and pick-up points. Alternatively, Polk Street, which is located one block off Jefferson, can also be used as a drop-off and pick-up point.
Lafayette Police officers will be there to divert traffic. The aim is to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.
“The goal is to for users to feel more comfortable and safer in the context of enjoying nightlife,” said Anita Begnaud, Downtown Development Authority CEO.
Cities across the country have experimented with closing streets during the COVID-19 pandemic, and data shows greater consumer interest at restaurants on pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly streets that limit vehicular traffic, officials say.
A release states that "ample public parking is available elsewhere in the district at metered spots, the Vermilion Garage which holds 500 plus vehicles, and in public parking lots. These lots are located at the corner of Cypress and Jefferson, the corner of Garfield and Jefferson, near the corner of Vermilion and Jefferson, and in the lots adjacent to the Buchanan Garage and behind City Court."
“We appreciate the cooperation of Lafayette Consolidated Government and the Lafayette Police Department to pilot this initiative that we have seen work well in other cities, and our office will be assisting with assessing outcomes to determine next steps,” Begnaud said.