Feet on the Street to make a comeback in 2023

A pandemic-era program in Bay City is making a comeback.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:04 PM EST
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Bay City, Mich. (WNEM) - A pandemic-era program in Bay City is making a comeback.

Feet on the Street began in 2020 as a way to help restaurants serve more customers who were dealing with capacity limits at the time.

Since then, Feet on the Street has been used in social districts to create safe spaces for outdoor activities during the summer.

Leaders voted to end Feet on the Street in November, but Monday night, March 6, the city Board of Commissioners voted 5 to 4 to bring back Feet on the Street on one city block this summer.

“We were approved 5 to 4 which I am very excited about,” said Bay City’s City Commissioner Shelly Niedzwiecki.

Her resolution, approved by city leaders Monday night, was to bring back Feet on the Street.

Saginaw Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Center Avenue to 5th Street.

Niedzwiecki said it was important for businesses in this area to keep Feet on the Street.

“Their merchants get together and they do fitness classes in the streets on the weekend mornings. And they had corn hole and patio areas,” she said.

Businesses such as Artigiano Artisan Cheese Shop benefit from it. Co-owner Kevin Parker said things are different outside his front door when Feet on the Street is happening.

“We see a lot of additional foot traffic. And we see a lot of people out enjoying themselves. We set up a nice seating area with umbrellas and some flowers. And we just like to see people out enjoying it,” Parker said.

Parker is hoping more potential customers will check out the wine and cheese selections at his shop and the other businesses in Bay City.

“There is an increase in traffic from people from out of town. And we like to see people coming downtown to see what Bay City has to offer. And we’re really excited to see how the city executes it this year,” he said.

Niedzwiecki is hoping the initiative that started during the pandemic will be around for many years to come.

“People enjoy it and it’s our job as a community to make a welcoming place for both our citizens and our out-of-town travelers. So, yes, I feel it’s necessary in that capacity,” she said.

Feet on the Street will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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