Nassau County Open Streets Pilot Program

To view an interactive map of all communities in Nassau County with open streets, click the interactive map above. Check back often to see which neighborhoods have been added!


Nassau County

Open Streets Pilot Program

Safely promoting local business recovery and passive recreation in Nassau’s downtowns and business districts.

The Nassau County Open Streets Pilot Program’s expedited permit application can be accessed at the following link: www.nassaucountyny.gov/OpenStreetsApp. Before beginning the application, please read all of the information below which outlines the Pilot Program’s requirements.

Not sure if your community has a County-owned roadway?  Check our interactive Road Jurisdiction Viewer map for information on roadway ownership. 

Questions about the Pilot Program?  Contact the Nassau County Department of Public Works at OpenStreets@nassaucountyny.gov.


Overview

As New York State begins to re-open its economy, Nassau County is supporting local municipalities and businesses in creating ways to safely conduct business with critical social distancing measures in mind.  Open/shared streets allows for socially-distant patronage of local businesses through outdoor means, while also promoting healthy activities such as walking.  Consistent with the practices of other government agencies, County Executive Laura Curran has established a new Nassau County Open Streets Pilot Program.

As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommuting and staggered work hours are being considered by many employers to address social distancing and facility disinfection guidelines.  The resulting reduction in overall vehicular traffic will likely continue through the pandemic and as businesses slowly begin to re-open.  The Open Streets Pilot Program will take advantage of currently reduced traffic demand on County roadways by allowing local municipalities to temporarily close certain County roadways to vehicular through traffic.  The County heard from local municipalities their wish to turn main streets into open/shared streets.  The Nassau County Open Streets Pilot Program supports municipalities in their local business recovery efforts by enabling businesses to expand capacity and safely serve patrons, while continuing to follow all Federal, State and local regulations and guidelines.  As part of this initiative, the County has created a new temporary street closure permit process that will offer expedited and free permit processing for municipalities.  The online permit application can be completed at www.nassaucountyny.gov/OpenStreetsApp

The following provides an overview of the County’s permit approval process, as well as general recommendations that municipalities can follow relating to open streets.  Please note, all recommendations are subject Federal, State and local regulations.  It is the responsibility of the municipality to ensure all recommendations are in compliance prior to and during implementation. 


Expedited Permit Process

To request a street closure on a County roadway, local municipalities must file a Nassau County Open Streets Pilot Program Permit Application online. The application will be reviewed by the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) – Traffic Engineering Unit for potential impacts on vehicular circulation in the area.  NCDPW will also assist municipalities in securing all required approvals from the Nassau County Police Department or local police department, and NICE Bus.  If municipalities have already coordinated with or received approval from these entities, documentation should be submitted with the Open Streets application to expedite the process.

Coordination with and approval from the local fire department is also required.  Relevant documentation from the fire department must be submitted with the Open Streets application. 

Notification to all impacted property owners within the road closure area is required as well.  The municipality should ensure such notification is made prior to the closure.

Additionally, a detour plan that conforms to the minimum standards as per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), must be described in the application. 

Lastly, proof of general liability insurance in the amount not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence must be provided, listing Nassau County as additional insured.

Upon receipt of an application, Nassau County’s Department of Public Works will review the submission and provide a decision within one week.

Applications are only being accepted from local municipalities (towns, villages and cities).  If a community wishes to participate in the program, they should contact their local municipal representative (supervisor, mayor, council member).


Open Streets Program Requirements

The County will require all Open Streets Program applicants to ensure the following safety and health precautions are taken:

  • Barricades must be installed at all road entrances to meet MUTCD requirements.  NCDPW will coordinate with NCPD or the local police department to secure barricades.
  • Fire hydrants must remain accessible and cannot be blocked by temporary street furniture, seating, displays, etc.  The municipality shall consult with the applicable fire department for minimum clear zone requirements.
  • A clear emergency response lane must be maintained throughout the entire street closure.
  • ADA and other access standards and guidance still apply.
  • The Pilot Program is intended to support business recovery, such as allowing restaurants to safely expand capacity, and offering an opportunity for residents to socially-distance in an outdoor environment.  The Pilot Program is not meant to create a gathering or social space.
  • If a business intends to serve food through an outdoor seating set-up, compliance with all Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) regulations is required.  This may include a Temporary Food Service Permit.  NCDPW will coordinate with NCDOH’s Office of Food Protection on any required approvals.  Municipalities and business owners may also contact the Office of Food Protection at 516-227-9717 for more information.
Example of road barricades and social distancing signage being used in another community
Example of road barricades and social distancing signage being used in another community.  Source: NACTO.


Recommendations for Open Streets

Outdoor Dining:

When sit-down service at restaurants and food establishments is permitted again by New York State, businesses may be interested in pursuing outdoor seating to help make up for reduced indoor capacity requirements.  In areas where wide sidewalks already exist, municipalities should consider allowing businesses to set up temporary outdoor seating.  A new temporary outdoor seating permit process may need to be established by your municipality if one does not already exist.

Other Uses:

With the roadway closed to through traffic, municipalities and businesses will have more physical space available to them.  The County encourages municipalities to be creative in identifying ways to utilize the roadway, such as providing more space for social distancing outdoors.  All Federal, State and local regulations continue to apply.


Stay Tuned for Updates!

The Nassau County Department of Public Works will be monitoring and assessing the Open Streets Pilot Program over the coming months.  The Pilot Program is subject to change and expansion as conditions permit/warrant.  Please revisit the Pilot Program webpage for updates and news on open streets in your neighborhood!  Questions about the Pilot Program?  Contact OpenStreets@nassaucountyny.gov.