Parts of Bloomington’s Kirkwood Avenue open for peds and dining, closed to cars now through Oct. 1

On Monday morning, yellow bollards were set in place to block off sections of Kirkwood Avenue in downtown Bloomington.

It’s the fourth year that the city council has approved some kind of seasonal closure to car traffic for the east-west street, so that restaurants can have access to the public right-of-way for additional seating space.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, the final three bollards, on the east side of the intersection of Dunn Street and Kirkwood Avenue, were slotted into place by a crew from the department of public works, headed up by operations manager Michael Large.

Those three bollards might have been installed a lot sooner. But one driver, who had parked on the street just east of the intersection, didn’t heed the orange “No Parking” signs that had been placed on the meters a few days earlier.

A three-bollard-wide gap was left so that a truck from Rick’s Towing could approach the car, hitch it up and remove it from the street. Large told The B Square it’s a $50 parking ticket plus the cost to retrieve the vehicle, which he pegged at around $150.

When the final bollard was installed, one yellow-vested worker said, “That’s all until October!” The street closure approved by the city council runs through Oct. 1.

As a part of the city’s seasonal outside dining program, in other parts of downtown where there’s metered parking, “parklets” will be installed over the next few days. Restaurants can pay to use the metered parking spaces for outside dining. The spaces will be blocked off with orange water-filled barriers.