Monon Greenway & Midtown Plaza to Reopen
City of Carmel
One Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032
Date: May 21, 2020
Contact: Nancy Heck, 317-571-2494
Monon Greenway & Midtown Plaza to Reopen in Carmel
City will continue to urge wearing facial protection
Carmel, IN – As part of the gradual Reconnecting Carmel effort, the City of Carmel will reopen the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza beginning at noon on Friday, May 22 and will keep it open as long as there is evidence that such measures are not triggering a resurgence in COVID-19 infections that can pose danger to life, health and well-being of residents and visitors to Carmel.
At the same time, the City is unveiling a series of signs to be placed along the Monon Greenway and in Midtown Plaza encouraging everyone to wear a facial covering or mask whenever they are entering a public space or encountering others. Such masks or face coverings, even those that are not rated as protective for medical personnel, can still serve as a preventive measure for the spread of a virus.
“We trust that our residents and visitors will use caution and treat this pandemic situation with the life-or-death seriousness that it demands,” said Mayor Jim Brainard. “If you a feel sick, stay home; If you live with someone who has tested positive, stay home; If you suspect you may be positive, get tested. Everyone in Carmel needs to have faith that their fellow citizens, neighbors and friends care as much about them as they do about their desire to ‘return to normal’ in our City.”
Mayor Brainard will be looking at three criteria to determine how long this congested portion of the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza will remain open. Those criteria include: Hospitals under 70 percent of their bed capacity to allow room for a new surge; To determine through testing in the general population to determine that positive COVID-19 cases do not exceed five percent; and 14 days of declining COVID-19 hospital patients. These criteria are based on medical advice from both local and national experts.
These criteria are based on medical advice from both local and national experts. If the opening of the Monon Greenway and Midtown Plaza proves to be detrimental to these goals, Mayor Brainard will not hesitate to shut the area down again in order to protect the health and well-being of city residents and visitors.
However, if a gradual return to enjoying the expanded Greenway and plaza takes place, the City is poised to bring back a few popular attractions – Monday Movies at Midtown and Tuesday Music at Midtown beginning immediately.
Here is the plan:
Midtown Plaza will be “COVID-fitted” to reflect a new respect for physical distancing and other measures taken to reduce the potential spread of the virus. Pool tables and ping pong tables will remain closed to prevent the spread of the virus through pool sticks and ping pong paddles. Outdoor furniture will be separated and spaced in an appropriate manner and it is our hope that visitors will take the personal responsibility to avoid congestion and remain separated at a safe distance of at least six feet to avoid the casual transmission of the disease.
The City of Carmel, with the generous donation from Allied Solutions, will provide a number of new hand sanitation stations along the Monon Greenway and at Midtown Plaza to encourage all visitors to keep their hands clean and virus-free as the enter the area and as they leave the area.
Monday Movies: The City will bring back this popular Monday tradition at Midtown Plaza, but we plan to show the movie throughout the day in order to prevent a congested gathering of families at one showing. The movie, Turbo, will be shown at noon, 2:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m. and the City urges residents to choose a time that will prevent a mass gathering of viewers, which could result in the spread of the virus.
Tuesday Music: Live music on stage at Midtown Plaza will return Tuesday, May 26, with Sammi Lorena playing from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the lunch-time crowd. With safe physical distancing in mind, visitors are invited to bring their lunch or grab some carryout from Sun King Distillery or the Fork + Ale and sit outside while enjoying the music.
Meanwhile, the Monon Greenway – which has been closed from Gradle Drive to Main Street – will now reopen. However, Greenway users should beware that construction continues on a portion of the expanded Greenway south of Elm Street, and caution should be exercised while moving through that area.
The City of Carmel continues to encourage everyone to have and wear a facial covering or mask as they venture through the central corridor and encounter others along the Greenway or at various stopping points, including restaurants and shops. As a way to convey that message, the signage below will be posted along the trail at strategic locations.
“In the end, all that we can do is ask that our local residents and visitors take this matter seriously and do what is needed to prevent the spread of this deadly virus as much as possible,” said Mayor Brainard. “Like you, we are eager to return to a more ‘normal’ existence in one of the best cities in America. But we don’t want to move too fast and risk the return of the virus in pandemic proportions.”
(See below for image of signs)
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