The beauty of living in a place like New York City is that you don’t need a car for ANYTHING. When I left California five years ago to move to NYC, I sold my car and never looked back – it was one of the most freeing moments of my life. Most New Yorkers – especially those in Manhattan – get by just fine without cars and rely on public transportation for mobility. And everyone knows that streets are more pleasant for walking, biking and shopping when cars are taken off the road. So it makes perfect sense for NYC to try out a no-car zone in Manhattan. Just because Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan was shot down in the spring doesn’t mean we’ve called off our dreams of a traffic free future.
Even though it’s a baby step, a new summer proposal has us excited about the possibilities of moving in the direction of a car-free Manhattan. A new initiative called SUMMER STREETS is an attempt to turn parts of Manhattan into a haven for pedestrians for 3 days in August.
The best thing about this new proposal? The car-free zone runs right up Lafayette Street – headquarters of your favorite green design blog of all time (eh hem… Inhabitat of course). The route will be closed to all cars, trucks and buses from 7a.m. to 1p.m. on the 9th, 16th and 23rd of August.
The car-free route will be 6.9 miles long and run from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge (and through the less well-known, but much loved Inhabitat Headquarters at Lafayette street). For those that are wondering what to do, aside from a having a healthy walk, a number of activities such as dancing, walking, yoga classes and even bike rentals will be available along the route.
It has been said that no New Yorker should ever need a vehicle to get around the city, and why should they? The city has one of the best public transport systems in the world. Although this step is a mere baby step, we’re hoping that if we all support this plan and work together to make ‘Summer Streets’ a success, perhaps we can gradually push New York, the city that never sleeps, into eventually becoming ‘The City That Never Drives.’
We’ll be reporting from car-free Inhabitat HQ on Lafayette street during this event, so stayed tuned for our coverage of NYC SUMMER STREETS in August!