FALMOUTH, MA — Falmouth officials have backed off their plan to close parts of Main Street to provide more seating at restaurants for outdoor dining.
Last week, the Select Board voted to close Main Street from Walker Street to Shore Street as a way to support businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. But after receiving feedback from business owners over the past few days, the board rescinded the vote.
Select Board Chair Megan English Braga said more consensus was needed from restaurants and shops along Main Street.
"For me, the biggest piece is that we just don't have a lot of restaurants saying they will make use of this," English Braga said.
If more restaurant owners said they would have used the space, the board would have moved forward with the plan, English Braga added.
There were also some safety and logistical issues that would have made the closure difficult for first responders, said Fire Chief Michael Small and Police Chief Edward Dunne. Both expressed concerns over the closure forcing too much traffic on Library Lane.
"Library Lane is not that wide of a road," Dunne said. "You're going to direct a lot of traffic down that road, and it won't be safe."
"It would be challenging for us to have the fire engines serpentining through here," Small said.
Select Board member Sam Patterson said given all the information and the lack of consensus from restaurant owners, the plan is "just too complicated."
The Select Board said it's welcoming feedback on what other ways it can help businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.