DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan officially announced the return of the Summer Streets and Weekend Walks programs in June. On August 6, 13, and 20 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the city will close Park Avenue and connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up to Central Park. The DOT has created a route with spurs and rest stops along low-traffic streets to the Hudson River Greenway, Harlem, Governors Island, and other popular destinations.
Summer Streets began as part of the city’s overall greening initiatives in an effort to encourage New Yorker to ditch their cars and taxi and take up more sustainable modes of transportation. Plus, it opens up valuable real estate — our city streets — and allows us to use them to play, walk, bike or run without worrying about getting hit by a car. Weekend Walks, which began in May, are like mini-Summer Streets where neighborhoods outside of Manhattan can opt to close several blocks to host concerts, festivals, and the like. In total, 18 neighborhoods are hosting Weekend Walks, and you can see the full schedule here.
There will be a slew of activities along the route, including a 25-foot climbing wall courtesy of sporting goods store REI, a cook-off hosted by Whole Foods, and storytelling by StoryCorps. Plus, there will be free dance and exercise classes, along with free bike and roller blade rentals, and Transportation Alternatives will be offering free valet bike parking.
Summer Streets has become one of our favorite summer activities in the city, but we can’t help but wish that we could experience the wide open spaces of the concrete jungle for more than just three days out of the year. Perhaps we’ll begin lobbying for Spring Streets, Fall Streets, and Winter Streets, too…
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