After years of delays, a redesign of S. State from William to Washington is finally getting underway this summer. “The street was just incredibly beat up,” explains State Street Area Association executive director Frances Todoro-Hargreaves. And “it was flooding. We were having incidents with Art Fair where we couldn’t put booths in certain areas because of the standing water.”

The three-year project will feature something new to town: “curbless streets” between William and Washington. That means “the street, sidewalk, and what we usually think of as the parking lane, are essentially all on the same level,” emails Amber Miller, Downtown Development Authority capital projects manager. “There will be a valley gutter to help guide stormwater and curbed planters to guide vehicles, but the street can function as one, flexible space. This makes it much easier to repurpose the parking lane as extended pedestrian space and outdoor dining. In addition, it makes the street more adaptable and accessible during special events.” 

“The zero curbing is going to be a huge benefit for us, along with the extended patio space, whether it’s being used for retail or restaurant,” says Todoro-Hargreaves. Developed in Europe in the 2000s, it’s now spreading across the U.S. She says her group has been working on bringing it to their area since 2015, but “it kept getting kicked back and kicked back. At one point it got kicked back a year because they put the William St. bikeway in instead. And then Covid came, so it got postponed another year!”

Todoro-Hargreaves says her people are glad it’s finally getting underway. “Some folks come to me and say, ‘Zero curbing? What, are you outta your mind?’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean, outta my mind? There’s cities all over the country that have done this already! We’re not leading the pack here. We’re behind!’”