Chuck Clement reports that new restaurateur Darin Namken appears to be persuading the Madison City Commission to close down Egan Avenue for a fun community event. Namken’s Pub House is sponsoring Ignite the Night, a 5K after-dark run/walk on Saturday, June 27. Namken says 350–400 people may come run around town with glow sticks that night. He told the city commission at their Monday, June 1 meeting that closing the Four Corners would help the event, and the city commissioners agreed, voicing support for the event and acknowledging approval of the street closure.
When the Madison Area Arts Council asked the commission to close Egan Avenue for musical events a few years ago, but Madison’s leaders expressed concern about blocking traffic and creating safety issues. The city commission’s resistance prompted the arts council moved its program out to Prairie Village. It’s good to see that Namken has managed to get through to commissioners the idea that prioritizing people and more cultural events over cars downtown every now and then is good for community development.