You Tell Us: Big Ideas for Making Main Street Better

Locals are bound to have their own big ideas for bettering their community. Let's share them.

Like many Long Island main streets, the economy impacts Main Streets in Montauk, East Hampton Village, and Amagansett. It's times like these that people get to thinking about the home they love so much, coming up with their own ideas to improve them, be them wild stretches of the imagination or practical fixes that are altogether doable.

So let's hear them.

In the spirit of putting the local dreamer and the civic leaders on the same plane, we'd like to give all locals the opportunity to share their big ideas. In this forum, no idea should be shot down. Instead, let's gather as many suggestions as we can so we can later narrow the list down to the 10 most popular ideas for each community.

We can't wait to hear what you come up with so post in the comment section below. 

laszlo Lowenstein October 16, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Main Street stores need to compete with online shopping. This year will represent the largest amount ever spent online. Here's an idea: local stores should ask customers to bring in a snapshot of the checkout page of amazon or other e-commerce site and that store will meet the price listed. Show proof that the customer abandoned the check out before purchasing and they get an additional incentive (e.g., small free item, additional 1-2%, whatever). You need to change established consumer behaviors not just advertise the soft benefits of buying local.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Via Facebook, Kate Mueth said, "Bring the mom and pop shops back-- ie: make the rents affordable for the shop keepers instead of selling the soul of our town to the highest bidder."
tm October 16, 2012 at 09:04 PM
unfortunately, nothing really the Towns or Villages can do about that.
Jan Lehre October 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM
A key aspect of our Main St experience is the bustling year-round activity - from the staple businesses to the higher end geared to the summer in flux In EHV, we have a "Main St" experience from the Huntting Inn on Rt27 over to Newtown Lane up to the train. This full area should be kept clean, pleasant and safe. The lighting should be tasteful yet effective, and the trees should continue to be preserved. It helps when there is a good balance of store types along the full length of the desired area - this extends pedestrian traffic. Its good to have clusters of varied shops (food, clothing, other) rather than create sections (e.g., the high end fashion vs. the food and movies). Ideas: 1. Shopping carts should be kept in bounds in the store parking lot 2. Extend the lit pedestrian crossings from Main to Newtown 3. Better train the "white glove" crosswalk kids 4. Go back to the traditional looking holiday lights rather than the tacky LED lights 5. Have something for each season (daffodils-spring, flower boxes-summer, pumpkins-fall, holiday lights-winter. ** The worst thing we could to our Main St experience would be to create courtyard malls as they did in Amagansett and Watermill - it diverted all the building investment away from the traditional street facing stores. ** The Village has done some great things by planting trees, putting benches in place and having merchants keep their store windows looking cheery (i.e., "we'll be back in the spring").
Yvette Somekh October 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Landlords create leases for a 12 month presence. Stop the Memorial Day to Labor Day nonsense. We have regulations for everything. How about a few regulations to make East Hampton as attractive in winter as it is in summer. All the other villages put regulations in place so they don't turn into East Hampton. Nice, huh?
Lady L October 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM
If taxes were reduced, shops could be rented out for less.
tm October 18, 2012 at 01:15 PM
i agree with the concept of what you are saying. but i dont think its necessarily the taxes that are driving the high rents, its the market and the value placed on the properties due to their location.
Jan Lehre October 18, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I didn't realize other villages had such regulations but that may explain why Bridgehampton's Main has no stores, and why I never really have use for the stores on Southampton's Main (not to say that the boutiques aren't very pretty). I'll gladly take the EHV situation over those other two villages that have become one big car dealership and home fixtures warehouse. The Village has enough to deal with to create conditions for a good Main St experience, but market forces should drive what happens in stores, how long they stay open etc (it's already very hard to get a business going on our Main Streets...it took Mary's Marvelous months longer than expected to open a simple, year-round and highly-in-demand shop).
Hope October 26, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Could I draw some attention a little further down Main to the library -Guild Hall stretch? Please add a crosswalk, like in town (not askng for a light) as I have seen so many people and nannies and/or moms with children and strollers risking their lives to get across. It's ridiculous that these two buildings aren't linked safely considering all the events and daily patronage they have. Im sure both would benefit from more foot traffic and if a crosswalk there they 'd probably see a natural trickle from across the street. Further, i doubt very much it would impact traffic, just save some lives. Drivers here are ridiculous and dont slow for pedestrians willingly. As for town..how about luring a restaurant to face out to street (Main) with outdoor seating allowed in summer...lights on with people inside looks festive and inviting all year round. Too much retail...


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