Catskill village officials thinking about closing Main Street this summer
May 29, 2020 6:00 am
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Catskill village officials are considering the possibility of closing Main Street to vehicular traffic this summer to give restaurants and retail stores additional space to provide services in a safe, social-distancing environment, Village President Vincent Seeley said. Seeley wants to see the closure effective 24/7 for the duration of the summer, or until businesses can open to full capacity. Other members of the village board support closing down from Friday through Sunday. “The $600 people are getting as part of their unemployment check is going to dry up,” Seeley said. “We have to get these people back to work.” Although capacity guidelines are not set, the economic impact of those restrictions could be disastrous, Seeley said. And the six-foot social-distancing requirement adds to the strain, he said. Other municipalities such as Saratoga Springs have used street closures to stimulate their local economies, Seeley said. The Catskill proposal would allow restaurants, cafes and bars to have outdoor seating, while leaving room for pedestrians to travel between retail stores and to practice social distancing. If restrictions on the businesses’ capacities are lifted, the street could be easily reopened, Seeley said. Catskill Police Chief David Darling said in a statement, he can already see issues with rerouting traffic and parking availability. “The problem with closing Main Street is very simple,” Darling said. “We have major infrastructure problems with diverting the traffic..." He said redirecting traffic to close Main Street would be disruptive for everyone in the village. He urged the trustees to thoroughly research the issue. Seeley estimated that Main Street could be closed in two weeks time once the plan is put into motion. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.