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Michigan judge grants seasonal street closures in downtown Northville

Residents react to seasonal street closures in Northville, Michigan
Residents react to seasonal street closures in Northville, Michigan 02:32

NORTHVILLE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — Since the pandemic, Northville has closed two streets downtown. With a recent judge's ruling, it adds another layer to the debacle.

"My street is just off Center Street. If people don't want to wait in line to come up Center, they cut through our neighborhood. So now you can enjoy downtown in the streets, but my grandkids can't come and play on my street," said resident Cindi Brazen.

It's a harsh reality for Brazen. She and other Northville residents oppose leaving the streets open downtown.

A judge ruled that both East Main and North Center streets can close for the seasonal shutdown. Residents understand why the idea was initially proposed, but now, with COVID restrictions easing, some locals believe it is an inconvenience.

"We've lost a lot of parking spots recently, up to 300 spots, with the downs project and other areas — it's 292 to be specific — and then we'll lose everything here in town," said resident Steve Pichan.

With the latest ruling, the city said it will continue to oppose the lawsuit that prompted the initial injunction. While residents hope for a miracle to stop the closures, there is a compromise.

"Open the streets Monday through Thursday. Close them on the weekend. So Monday through Thursday, I can go to the stores I want to patronize. I can do what I want," said Teresa Folino.

Initially, when the closures first went into effect, they were to help spur business for area establishments.

Derek Blair's Northville gallery is located downtown. He's a fan of the closures, especially since he has parking behind his business.

"Having parking and the ability to park behind our store and many other stores and restaurants and all the parking back here, it's kind of ideal for a parking zone," Blair told CBS News Detroit

He said the street closures helped bring new customers into his business. His bottom line has increased since the closures, and he expects it to grow.

"It has made Northville a community, for everyone with families and what not to enjoy it but also to bring people in from all over Metro Detroit," Blair said.

According to the group "Let's Open Northville," they plan to explore other options, including an appeal. The city hasn't clarified when exactly the streets will be closing after this latest ruling.

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