Politicians, residents and businesses are divided over plans to pedestrianise Belfast's Ormeau Road over summer weekends.
The 'Open Ormeau' plan has been backed by SDLP MP Claire Hanna and the party's local councillors.
The Alliance and Green parties also back the proposal, but DUP MLA Christopher Stalford says it could have disastrous repercussions for the area.
The initiative would see restaurants and bars expand outdoors in a European cafe culture system. It would help those businesses struggling to remain viable in light of social distancing guidelines.
However, other local businesses say that closing the Ormeau Road at weekends could decimate their trade, and some residents have expressed concerns about potential street drunkenness, litter and parking.
Under the original proposals much of the Ormeau Road would be shut to traffic every weekend in summer.
Following a consultation exercise, that plan has been reduced to one weekend, and to one Saturday and one Sunday before autumn. The 'Open Ormeau' idea originated with Ciaran Fox, a director at the Royal Society of Architects.
Mr Stalford said: "Open Ormeau is a well-intentioned but ill-conceived idea.
"The main beneficiaries will be pubs and restaurants who do not make up the majority of businesses on the road. Other businesses are dead against it. Those who do the majority of their trade at the weekend will be hurt.
"If the Ormeau Road is closed, cars will go down the Ravenhill, which is already very busy so it has implications for residents there."
Fergal McAdam, owner of homeware store Neptune, said that 40 of 42 business owners he had spoken to opposed the plan.
"It will kill businesses a mile north and a mile south," he said. "The Ormeau Road is an arterial route. When you close the blood supply to an artery, you kill the limb."
While such a proposal may bring benefits to the hospitality industry, it did not work in a mixed retail area, he added.
Michael Goggin, owner of Michel's Fruit, said: "I've put my heart and soul into building my business here for 22 years and this plan will lose me customers and will effectively help the big supermarkets.
"The Ormeau Road works perfectly as it is. This will lead to drinking on the street and no social distancing.
"The name 'Open Ormeau' is wrong. It's effectively about closing and restricting things."
But Paul Smyth of Ballynafeigh Community Development Association said there was strong support for Open Ormeau. "There is a lot of positivity about it. Almost 1,000 people took part in our online survey and two-thirds of them backed the proposal," he said.
"We revised our plans to take account of those who had concerns, particularly businesses. We hope the new plans allay some fears and bring more people behind the initiative.
"This event is not about street drinking. It is about opening up the amount of space given to pedestrians.
"Kinsale has done it, Malahide has done it. We want the place to be like a Parisian street where people move around safely, enjoy each other's company and support local businesses."
SDLP councillor Gary McKeown said: "This is a community-driven initiative to benefit the area from a bunch of diverse residents. It's a grassroots movement.
"It's aimed at reducing traffic and supporting local businesses. I understand that some are for and some against.
"Consultation and engagement are essential. Nothing is being imposed. This is a conversation we are having. Nobody wants to go into this with bad blood and we are hoping for common ground."