REOPENING OUR DOWNTOWN

During last night’s Village Council meeting, I provided some details regarding the planning underway for the reopening of our downtown. While the reopening of businesses in NJ will be gradual, and we still do not have set dates and guidance from the Governor, it is safe to expect that there will be restrictions regarding the number of customers allowed at each business. That means businesses will not be able to fully utilize the interior square footage of their locations. Together with all the Village department heads, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ridgewood Guild, commercial landlords, retailers and restauranteurs, we are working on a reopening plan. That plan will, first and foremost, aim to ensure the safety of our residents and patrons while helping our businesses to have the necessary tools to thrive. With the understanding that the downtown that will reopen will be very different from the one that closed in March, we have to embrace some outside-the-box ideas that probably could have never been considered previously. For example, closing a significant portion of our downtown to vehicles, thereby creating an outdoor pedestrian mall on Saturdays and Sundays. It is the best way to ensure proper social distancing while allowing businesses to make up for the lost indoor square footage. While we encourage residents to walk to the downtown if possible, patrons will still be able to park on some streets as well as Walnut Street Lot, Bus Station Lot, Cottage Place Lot and the soon to open Hudson Street Parking Garage. As you can imagine, this will require a lot of coordination between NJ Transit, Ridgewood Police, Signal Department, commercial landlords, businesses, volunteers and most importantly you the public. We will continue to provide more information. In the meantime, if you have any feedback or suggestions, please email them to: reopen@ridgewoodnj.net

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