Summer officially begins today, and with it comes a slew of fun events around the city. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Summer Streets, and annual event that shuts down a portion of Manhattan to car traffic, will return this August with Citi as the first-time title sponsor. The fun will stretch from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, replacing car traffic with open space for running, biking, and participating in a host of organized activities. Summer Streets happens on three consecutive Saturdays in August and will this year be supplemented for the first time by a one-day event in lower Manhattan called Shared Streets.
The ninth annual Summer Streets event will once again see the New York Department of Transportation close nearly 7 miles of Manhattan streets to car traffic on August 6, 13, and 20. Instead, the city streets become a veritable playground from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, with free events for people of all ages and ability levels. As with past years, the event will feature foot races, free bike rentals (with helmets), performances and guided walks, as well as some things you just don’t expect to see in a big city, like a giant zip-line and a massive water slide.
On Saturday August 13, the second of three Citi Summer Streets Saturdays, the new Shared Streets program will limit vehicle traffic in lower Manhattan south of the Brooklyn Bridge, making even more space for pedestrians and cyclists to explore the streets.
Nearly 300,000 people participated in the Summer Streets event in 2015. With the supplemental event in lower Manhattan this year, that number is likely to climb as more residents and visitors take advantage of a unique opportunity to frolic and play in spaces usually consumed by speeding cars.
Images via NYCDOT/Flickr