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INDIANAPOLIS — After a successful first run last summer, “Friends of 38th Street” has decided to continue its family-friendly event “Blues & BBQ on 38th” annually.

The Friends of 38th Street’s Blues & BBQ event returns to the north side on Saturday, August 27. It’s one of several events organized by the nonprofit with the intent of bringing Indianapolis’ north side neighborhoods along 38th Street, known as Midtown, closer together.

“Just kind of be together and celebrate these neighborhoods that we live in,” Christie Luther-Hurst, a member of Friends of 38th Street, told WRTV.

Friends of 38th Street was founded in 2021. Nearby residents and business owners came together to create the nonprofit organization to advocate for safety, preservation, and improvements to 38th Street, the main artery of east and west transportation through the north side. Luther-Hurst says Friends of 38th Street is focused on the stretch of 38th Street between Marian University and the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Luther-Hurst has lived in the area for over 10 years. She says Friends of 38th Street formed because of a lack of representation for the area.

“There wasn’t a sense of ownership for the success of the businesses and neighbors who either operate on or live near 38th Street,” Luther-Hurst said.

The group’s first order of business is to create ways to bring neighborhoods on both sides of 38th Street — such as the Meridian Street Historic District, Butler-Tarkington, Golden Hill, Crown Hill, and the Historic Watson Park (to name just a few) — together.

“It’s a major thoroughfare. It serves to kind of divide these historic and beautiful neighborhoods. And, so we’re organizing events to bring neighbors together,” Luther-Hurst said.

Second, Friends of 38th Street wants to slow the speed of traffic on the street.

“We’re the only organization that is sort of singularly focused on that,” Luther-Hurst said.

Later this year, Friends of 38th Street plans to start monitoring 38th Street, collecting data about the traffic speeds. They’re hoping that after this process, they will get “a real understanding of what the problem is” in what they believe is a dangerous stretch of 38th Street.

Read more from WRTV here