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APRIL 19, 2021, BAY CITY, MICH. - The option to dine outdoors at a number of Bay City restaurants is back by popular demand. The effort, dubbed ‘Feet on the Street’, encompasses parts of the Midland Street Business District, Adams Street, 3rd Street, Saginaw Street, and Center Avenue (see below). The atmosphere of each location is unique; however they all offer the same option to support local businesses while also adhering to proper social distancing. Of course, these restaurants continue to offer indoor dining in compliance with current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.
This will be the second season for Feet on the Street. The effort requires our Department of Public Works team to shut down select streets - this expands the space available for businesses and ‘common areas’ for multiple businesses to use. The various locations have chosen to open at different times, with all expected to be open no later than Memorial Day.
Last year permanent (but seasonally removable) bollards were installed in some locations. Those bollards restrict vehicle traffic while providing safety for those who are dining outdoors. The City of Bay City is currently examining the addition of more bollards based on need, location, and the wishes of the individual areas. Locations without the bollards will be closed to vehicular traffic using standard barriers.
Before enjoying Feet on the Street, please take note of some important reminders. Businesses taking part in this effort have applied for and received proper licensing through the City of Bay City and the State of Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission. With that being said, those businesses have to adhere to guidelines regulating where alcohol can be served and consumed. Each business is allowed to serve alcohol in their approved area. Meantime, additional licensing is required to allow patrons to move around ‘common areas’ shared by several businesses. Please ask if you have questions and be supportive of businesses adhering to these rules. For example, an alcoholic drink purchased at one business can be consumed at the business or common area – but the drink can not then be taken into a second business. Only alcoholic drinks purchased at a participating business can be consumed in common areas.
Please note there are businesses along the closed streets which do not offer outdoor patronage options, as it’s not part of their business plan. Please check with individual businesses to find out the best location to park in order to access their business. Here’s a look at parking options in Downtown Bay City: https://www.downtownbaycity.com/downtown-map/
Altogether seven streets will have some type of closure, spread out across four locations in the city. Three locations are on the east side of the city, with a fourth on the west side.
On the east side, portions of Center Avenue and Saginaw Street will once again close this year beginning April 26, 2021. This area includes Center Avenue between Saginaw Street and Washington Avenue, as well as Saginaw Street between 5th Street and Center Avenue.
In addition, 3rd Street between N. Water Street and Saginaw Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. It’s expected to be closed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The third area on the east side is along Adams Street from Center Avenue north to just beyond the City Market. It will close for the Feet on the Street season from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Portions of three streets will close in the Midland Street Business District in order to create a unique space on the west side. Linn Street between E. Vermont Street and E. Midland Street and the 600-block of E. Midland Street (between Henry and Linn streets) will close on May 1, 2021. The closure of the 500-block of E. Midland Street (between Catherine and Henry streets) will take place on weekends only, from 2:30 p.m. Friday until 7:00 a.m. Monday. Please note, Henry Street will remain open to vehicular traffic during the Feet on the Street closures.
These closures can remain in effect through the end of November.
Here’s the list of expected street closures:
EAST SIDE STREET CLOSURES
• Center Avenue between Saginaw Street and Washington Avenue
• Saginaw Street between 5th Street and Center Avenue
• 3rd Street between N. Water Street and Saginaw Street
• Adams Street from Center Avenue north to just beyond City Market
WEST SIDE STREET CLOSURES
• Linn Street between E. Vermont Street and E. Midland Street
• 500-block of E. Midland Street between Catherine Street and Henry Street
• 600-block of E. Midland Street between Henry Street and Linn Street
Please note: All State of Michigan and City of Bay City laws apply, including but not limited to those prohibiting public intoxication, impaired driving, open containers and serving alcohol to minors.