Nassau announces plan for road closures to help restaurants, retail
Nassau County is helping struggling restaurants serve more customers sooner and safely with the launch of the Open Streets Pilot Program.
The program will allow municipalities to quickly obtain permits to close county roads that run through them for a night once a week or month, so that restaurants and other businesses can offer expanded dining and shopping options while still following state guidelines.
The process of applying for permits will be fast-tracked. There will be no extra paperwork, permits or fees. Municipalities will receive approval within seven days.
Under New York's reopening plan, restaurants will be able to offer dining in a limited capacity during phase three, which is still at least a month away. For many restaurants that are already struggling and fearful they might have to close their doors for good, the extra capacity on sidewalks and streets could mean survival.
The Village of Farmingdale passed a similar plan last week, where it is looking to close streets twice a week. Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand told News 12 Long Island that the plan was a home run.
He added, "We can get approximately 430 seats on Main Street strategically placed six feet apart in every direction."
The program might not be a good fit for all areas on Long Island because not all communities have a county road running through its downtown areas. But county officials say they hope the program will act as a model for others to follow.
"We are happy to share our little tool kit and process with anyone who needs it any of our wonderful municipalities here in Nassau," says Nassau Executive Laura Curran.
News 12 spoke to several municipalities on the Island that are looking at Nassau's plan carefully, and some will be adapting the plan for use on village streets and sidewalks.
You can learn more about the Open Streets Pilot Program by clicking here.