Economic rebirth in Indiana downtowns can be a two-way street – literally.

Hoosier cities are spending millions to convert one-way main streets into two-way arteries.

The change can help boost the local economy, but it can also be hard on small businesses, like the one John von Erdmansdorff runs in West Lafayette.

Von Erdmansdorff is a local legend who’s spent almost 50 years selling all kinds of treasures out of his row of stores, Von’s Shops, on State Street.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Drivers can expect to see more of the large green and white directional signs that have recently popped up around Lafayette.

Economic Development Director Dennis Carson says the city plans to install more of the signs that are designed to point people to major destinations like Columbian Park, and music and arts venues.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Amid the dust and slow moving construction equipment, downtown Lafayette visitors will see bright orange and blue signs emblazoned with the message “Open For Business.”

It's the heart of a city-led marketing campaign to keep customers and merchants informed -- and concerns to a minimum -- as crews widen sidewalks and install decorative lighting, planters and other amenities on sections of Main Street.

Lafayette Planning Millions In Streetscape Improvements

Jun 8, 2015
kdemerly /

The city of Lafayette will spend up to seven-million dollars in the next several months to replace sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along several downtown streets.

Economic Development director Dennis Carson says streetscape improvements began in 2005, mainly around the courthouse square.

They’ve since expanded the projects to include more of downtown.

Carson says it’s a way to do more than just fix deteriorating infrastructure.