Summit closes Maple Street for outdoor dining for 3rd year. Will it be permanent?

Thursday was a great day for a meal outside, making it the perfect day for a Union County town to kick off its outdoor dining program. But not everyone is hoping that this becomes a permanent fixture in the town.
This is the third year that Summit has closed Maple Street to traffic and opened it up to pedestrians, diners and some live entertainment. There is a possibility this will be the last year.
“I’m here on a weekly basis, so it’s nice to sit outside and enjoy the weather,” says Summit resident Morgan Conrad.
Many Summit residents and business owners love the outdoor dining setup. Dylan Baker owns two restaurants on Maple Street – The Summit House and Bar Bacoa.
“This is our third year, and we love it. The town loves it,” says Baker. “This really is a silver lining if it’s able to stay after those hard years and people in the community and surrounding areas get to come and enjoy outdoor dining as a perk of those tough years.”
But not everyone thinks the program is great, which is why this year the outdoor dining program is a pilot program. Summit Downtown, a nonprofit that runs the city's business improvement district, has hired an independent consultant to study this year's program and help city leaders plan for the long term.
"We want to be sure that business and property owners in town are comfortable with whatever happens with Maple Street. "Whether that's closing it permanently, whether it's closed annually on a seasonal basis - and see how that works,” says Summit Downtown executive director Nancy Adams.
The consultant will hold focus groups and do interviews with residents, business owners and visitors. they will also do a traffic study. Ultimately, the decision on what happens here is up to the City Council. For now, Maple Street will stay closed until Nov. 30.