Love Lane to be closed on weekends through October to allow businesses to expand outdoors

Southold Town is planning to close a portion of Love Lane in Mattituck to traffic on weekends in an effort to create additional space for businesses to operate as they attempt to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.

The road will be shut down between Main Road and Pike Street from noon each Saturday until 6 a.m. Monday through Oct. 31, according to a resolution approved Tuesday.

Councilman Bob Ghosio said the highway department plans to order barricades to safely block off traffic and put up signs at the Love Lane intersections at Lane both Main Road and Pike Street.

Mr. Ghosio said the closures would likely begin Saturday, June 27.

“This will allow businesses to expand outside into the street to allow for more room,” Mr. Ghosio said.

Mattituck Chamber of Commerce president Dave Perrin said in an interview Tuesday that the road closures will help businesses on Love Lane while promoting public health as social distancing guidelines remain in place. 

“The reality is we cannot practice true social distancing in a safe environment on a sidewalk,” he said. 

Many businesses on Love Lane were able to expand offerings last week as Phase 2 of the NY Forward plan began, paving the way for outdoor dining and an expansion of retail.

“It’s going well but obviously everyone is feeling it out, getting their bearings straight,” Mr. Perrin said. “It’s a completely different way of doing business.”

The recent completion of the parking lot nearby, Mr. Perrin said, will help make up for any parking spots lost on Love Lane.

Closing Love Lane to traffic, he added, doesn’t mean outside vendors will be coming in as they might for a First Friday event. 

“It’s not a festival,” he said. “We just want to manage people who are coming to make sure they can safely buy goods and socially distance. We want to give everyone peace of mind and comfort.”