Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Let's do it right! Every Sunday from 9 - 5pm open up the following streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, children, free exercise and dance classes, and shopping (since walkers buy more than drivers): Broadway from the Southern to the Northern tip of Manhattan, and 42nd Street, 96th Street and 125th Street all from East to West.
Sound like too much? Go to www.streetfilms.org, and watch the video on Bogota's Ciclovia. If we do this right, it will be good for business, good for our health, and a ray of sunshine for the city's spirit.
Prospect Avenue in Sea Cliff from Shore Road to Albin Street.
This narrow residential street was once host to a multitude of weekend cyclists and pedestrians. However with unchecked area "auto dependent" development this once pleasant street is now a hazard to resident's, cyclists and pedestrians, as cut through speeding traffic dominates the street(without sidewalks) 24/7.
The Prospect/Albin Traffic Calming Initiative has been hard at work in correcting this situation, a "Summer Street" would be a meaningful component to our efforts!
We all miss, and wish to welcome back the cycling clubs that until not long ago brightened our neighborhood Saturday and Sunday mornings!
how about one day a year they close all water crossings into Manhattan?
I agree with comments # 105 and #145. The weekend is the only time to get around Manhattan with a decent amount of efficiency with no commercial traffic. The street closings that already occur are very disruptive and the street fairs have become repetitive and boring.
Why not close streets on SUNDAYS ?!I'm Jewish, observing the Sabbath, so only SUNDAYS will do me any good.
Streets to close on SUNDAYS:- Conney Island Ave south of the park- Flatbush Ave. Park to the bridge
First: CLOSE STREETS ON SUNDAYS (not Sat.) - I'm an Observant Jew, and cannot skate on the Jewish Sabbath.
Second: Streets to close:1. Conney Island Ave South of Prospect Park.2. Flatbush Ave, from Prospect Park to Manhattan bridge.3. Manhattan bridge (inbound or outbound lane), or a path to the Brooklyn bridge.
Obviously Red Hook. Haven't been there for a few weeks -- but as I recall it is a sleepy, lovely community ripe for pedestrians and bicyclists to come together in their historied pathways!
I second the notion of closing the Sheridan. Also, I would like to suggest Sagg Main St/Sagg Rd in Bridgehampton.
Like Marriane of Staten Island i would like to free the streets of my borough of the Hummers and escalades and close all of Bay street and Richmond terrace. It is the only moderately flat area to ride a bike, but it is normally trafficked by speeding and reckless SUV's. Staten Island has the most reckless and feckless drivers of the 5 boroughs. Vito Fosella did not go through that red light in Virginia because he was drunk, he did it because he is from Staten Island.
Shore, Blvd runs directly in front of Astoria Park.
Downtown White Plains offers a dense, well paved area that would be perfect as a pedestrian shopping street, such as they have in European cities. The area near City Center, Church Street and the Main/Mamaroneck Fountain would be a perfect area to try a car-free experiment.
Surburban drivers will likely freak out at this suggestion, given that they seem to think they own the roads and, therefore, dominate our public spaces. But I think it's high time that we let people experience, at least for a few days each summer, how lovely it is to use a densly populated area for something other than driving through.
Broadway in White Plains is another good candidate. There is a green park which extends for a good portion of this street but it is hard to enjoy it with the traffic racing by.
It is imperative, at least in my opinion, that any car-free offerings be pet friendly. White Plains does not permit dogs to do anything other than transverse its public parks - you officially cannot sit on a blanket in a park with your dog on a Sunday afternoon without worry of being asked to leave by city officials. Let's include dogs who like to lie down on grass on a hot summer day in our leisure planning!
I would like to see Park Avenue closed up to 96th Street. I also think that Park Avenue, because there are no buses and commercial traffic on it, would be ideal for a permanent bike lane going N and S by eliminating the parking spaces. I would then be comfortable using my bike as transportation!
Flatbush Ave, from Grand Army Plaza to Tillary Street.
Close one lane of Verrazano Bridge so that we can experience it via biking or walking. I know for the 5 borough bike ride they close a lane of the Verrazano but it would be great for the many people on the weekends who spend time on shore parkway and walk along the water near Ceaser's Bay Bizarre.
Metropolitan Ave from Williamsburg to Kew Gardens. A great road to see Queens and Brooklyn and get some exercise.
as of 7-23-08 the map does not have the suggestion in comment 117 for closing Steinway St. and Woodside Avenue in Queens
Closing a route from Flatbush to the Brooklyn Bridge to the Hudson River Greenway would be positively dreamy!
Closing Broadway from tip to tip of Manhattan would be great. Also add to that the major cross streets like Canal, Houston, 14th St, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 59th, and up and up. Heck, why not close all of Manhattan to cars, make it Busses and Taxis only on some streets and humans and bikes on others.
Closing off st marks and 8th street btw Astor place and Ave would be a very nice addition to an a congested area where street traffic is predominant.
They should close a few north/south streets in SoHo--Greene, Wooster, Mercer--between Houston and Broome.
East 60th Street from 1st Ave to 5th Ave. It would be great if there were a car free east to west passage from the 59th Street bridge to Central Park!
1 lane of the holland tunnel from the nyc waterfront to the nj waterfront
How about Broadway from Columbus Cir. to the Battery? Other cities open their main commercial and cultural corridor to the people - and this would link Central Park, Times Sq., Madison Sq. Park, Union Sq. Park and Battery Park.
Or the overwhelmingly-crowded SoHo - keep vehicles out of the box within Houston St., Broadway, Canal, and W. Broadway (or Sixth Ave.)!
Queens Blvd from LIC to woodside
Close all of Northern Blvd from Shea Stadium to the Queensboro Bridge.
Close Riverside Drive from 72nd Street up to 158th. It is a very popular bike route on the weekends--even with the traffic.
Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn, between the Williamsburg Bridge and McCarran Park.
I wonderful thing for Manhattan would be a redesign of Boradway. It has the opportunity to be a great avenue. Make Broadway accessible only to buses from 110-th street to Union Square. Create a bike path in each direction. Expand the side walks.
This could be an even more beautiful avenue.
Hylan boulevard between Nelso Ave., and Steuben St.
Those Hummer-lovers can hop on the expressway ...
Riverside Drive (which has multiple lanes) from 152nd Street up to 165th Street. Really, the whole area from 152nd St. to 165th St. west of Fort Washington and Broadway could be closed off (with the possible exception of the 158th St. underpass to the Henry Hudson) and it would be a really pleasant area to walk around.
How about Steinway st between Broadway & 30TH Ave.Allow only pedestrian, Bus & bike.
Close streets on a Saturday. That's fresh. I guess I've been hearing the news wrong. I was under the impression that Mayor Bloomberg was committed to decreasing congestion. My Bad! Has anyone checked to see if there is any street fairs also going on those days. It's a heck of a lot of fun when there's the 40 mile bike ride and the FDR is shut down AS WELL AS 2nd Avenue because of a street fair. Isn't there a park or the entire west side along the Hudson to endulge in Yoga? Does it have to be a main artery right down the middle of Manhattan? YIKES!!!
In addition, if you head south from Allerton Ave & Bronx Park East, you can hook up with Pelham Parkway going East to City Island and Orchard Beach.
Mosholu Parkway but extended to the East from the Botanical Gardens to Bronx Park East & Allerton Ave.
How about closing Bleeker St from Hudson St to Carmine St/6th Ave or Laquardia Pl.? Many small businesses on both sides of the streets and the sidewalks are woefully narrow...
37th avenue, between 75th and 85th, in Queens, pedestrians only on the summer weekends would be fantastic.
Bedford Avenue at least from Grand Street through McCarren Park to Manhattan Avenue.
I also love the idea of University Place between Union Square and Washington Square Park.
Bedford Ave – Brooklyn's longest street: McCarren Park to Sheepshead Bay.
Access to and one lane of the Verrazano Bridge – 5 borough access.
Also... well... EVERY STREET IN THE CITY! (or at least more bike lanes, esp. in Queens & the Bronx).
It would be great to close the loading lanes under the N Train that runs down 31st St. from Ditmars to Queensboro Bridge. They should put a permanent buffered bike lane there anyway, all in all there are 6 lanes worth of pavement. One parking/loading lane could very easily be sacrificed to have a bike lane from Ditmars to Queensboro Bridge. Have a good day, Brian!
I have not heard you mention that the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester has in the past been closed several Sunday mornings in October for recreation and enjoyment.
This is a prime example of giving pedestrians and bikers exclusive use of a throughway. Moreover, the Parkway is shut down to cars, even though there is a pedestrian bikeway on the side of the Parkway.
As to additional areas that could be open for recreation. I would suggest Skillman Avenue from Roosevelt to 39th Street, and Woodside Avenue from Roosevelt to Broadway in Queens.
close Bedford Ave from Fulton St into Williamsurg and encourage bike and foot traffic from Bed Stuy to W'burg north and south. There are lots of bike riders in both neighborhoods and not enough good bike trails.
Bedford Avenue from Grand Street through McCarren Park to Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn.
How about Beard Street between Van Brunt and Columbia Street.
Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg up to McCarren Park
3 locations in the Bronx:1. The Grand Concourse (I agree with Adam from Riverdale) any section would be good2. Pelham Parkway from White Plains Rd. to Stillwell Ave.3. The Moshulu Parkway from the Botanical Garden to about Bainbridge Ave.#2 & #3 have great areas of grass in the middle of the roads that would definitely lend those roads to closure
Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
I'm a private pilot, and since the closing of Flushing airport to small plane traffic, there is no convenient airport in the NYC area. Since the Sheridan is about 7,000 feet long, it would make a great runway. You would just have to fly below the traffic to LaGuardia. What a convenience. Great for kids and schools in the neighborhood because it could be linked with education to provide a great resource.Great show.Paul Stein
Speaking on behalf of the working people of the Bronx,
Forget about creating more affordable housing, there are plenty empty buildings that need to be fixed. The Sheridan should be turned into a beautiful park where Bronx children can play and enjoy their childhood. Have you ever visited the South Bronx? Where are the parks?
I am a regular user of the Sheridan. The MTA Express bus serving the Morris Park neighborhood takes the Sheridan. While it clear is a flawed highway, it should not be closed. It enables a quicker commute for some of us who already have a one hour commute each way. I agree the ramps at the northern end are poorly designed and should be redone. If the community along the Sheridan is feeling disconnected, there may be other ways to fix that - with more bridges, etc..
It is worth noting that the eastern side of Sheridan is a narrow strip of land bordered by the Bronx river on the other side. Some of that land is fenced off and marked "contaminated" and another part has recently been redone as a park.
University Place between Union Square and Washington Square, in effect extending both parks.
A larger version, Broadway from Madison Square to Union Square.
Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.
Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights from the promenade to Court Street
Bay Street in Red Hook near the ball fields and pool.
it's endless !
Suggestion: In GREENPOINT, Brooklyn, close Manhattan Avenue starting at Greenpoint Avenue to connect to Pulaski Bridge into Vernon Blvd in LIC, Queens. This would link both boroughs and would provide a beautiful view of Manhattan's skyline...
Pelham Pkwy Bet White Plains Rd out to City Island. Service Rds could still be used for buses.
Mosholu Pkwy entire length. Also has service rds.
Henry Hudson Pkwy Kappock st to Bway exit.
Broadway from 242 (end of #1 Line) to Yonkers line.
These rds are relatively flat for bike riding.
It's an awful idea to close traffic in Manhattan- the buses, taxi cabs, ambulances, fire trucks get blocked - they get gridlocked! When there are street fairs, Even from the 16th floor, the honking is deafening. The drivers sweat bullets and sit in endless traffic. Please do not fool yourself that this is a quality of life idea. Besides the noise of honking and sirens, it is dangerous to the city to block emergency vehicles in an already congested environment.
There are advantages to this road. going south on the BX river pkwy you can avoid the complicated merge to the Cx bx by using the Sheridan Xway. It is very conveient way going n on sheridan to get to mid bx other wise much slower when coming from manhattan. You may get more housing but you also waste the energy that was used in constructing the xway and all the rubble that goes to land fills
The Sheridan Expy. in the Bronx is, indeed, a joke that serves no purpose.
One tube of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel-connect Red Hook to the West Side Greenway
The DOT is going to close a long stretch of a Manhattan street on Saturday's this August. Where else would you like to see cars blocked? We'll continue our suggestions for your Summer Street closings in this thread, and add your ideas to our map. Comment below!
New Comment Page.
Back in the early 1960s, someone in Copenhagen, Denmark had the controversial idea of converting a narrow and seriously congested commercial steet in the center of the city to pedestrians only, on an temporary experimental basis. The merchants screamed that it would kill them, that their customers wouldn't be able to come their stores, that their delivery vans and trucks wouldn't be able to deliver, and that all the businesses would go bankrupt in a short time. Well, the exact opposite happened. The public (including myself) loved the new arrangement, the merchants thrived like never before, the experiment was an unqualified success, and the pedestrian-only arrangement became permanent. Thus another famous attraction in Copenhagen was created, the mile-long shopping street in downtown Copenhagen called "Stroget." The idea was soon copied in numerous cities around Europe and today, more than forty-five years later, no tourist goes to Copenhagen without walking down that street. So, Manhattan merchants, you've no idea how good the Mayor's new initiative could be for you!
Don't call Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island THE OUTER BOROUGHS. If I'm not too mistaken, Manhattan shares a pretty long border with New Jersey. LOL
9th Ave between 57th and 34th is a constant nightmare. I don't know how it would affect the surrounding areas to restrict traffic there, but it sure does need congestion relief.
Close Vernon Boulevard in Astoria and Long Island City.
I do believe this is another example of a -Manhattan-centric attitude.
Some areas of the outer boros need help especially with the downturn in the economy.
I suggest Steinway Street in Astoria a great venue for this type of event. It is an area without much green space.And importantly, it is a formerly vibrant commercial strip that is sort of suffering these days from big box retailers.An event such as this would provide a terrific recreational event for residents and give the merchant's some hilp and put some sales taxes in the city treasury...
This isn't directly related, but can you do a story on street fairs? Why we have them and who likes them? I don't know anyone who likes them and they create enormous traffic disasters in the city on the weekends. They are such a scourge and I can't understand why we still have them since everyone I know hates them and the chaos they create.
Pedestrians are an endangered species in NYC. I've been hit by a car and a bike. Both times I had the right of way and was crossing with the light.
Adam 52,and the 'rich' are out of town of the weekend. unless they are rich tourists visiting.
It all sounds great, but I wonder if it might not be more effective to use those funds to upgrade permanent bike paths so that we can ride safely every day.
I applaud the DOT but hope that there are plans to extend this to the other boroughs. There is a movement in JH to have a block adjacent to Travers Park closed in the summers on Sunday. JH is a great neighborhood except for the lack of public/park space. For more information on the initiative go to http://www.jhgreen.org/playstreet.html
I also want to thank DOT for the new bike lanes in Queens. However, coming on and off the QB bridge is not easy and not safe. I hope that this can be improved.
Sunday street closings.
Close 78th Street between Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue. It's alongside Travers Park, in probably the City Council District that suffers from the worst park/recreation shortage in NYC.
Then close the length of 34th Avenue, or at least one side of this street, which is divided with a green median.
Thank you and good luck in your new space.
no. 79 and 81--as a cyclist and pedestrian, i always look out for others, and am very courteous. but there are far too many people who stupidly walk around with headphones and cell phones, oblivious to everything around them. there's no excuse for this. i wouldn't dream of wearing headphones on a bicycle--why is it okay to be so "checked out" as a pedestrian?
Saturdays from 7am to 1pm? Just another example of the City being rude to Jews who attend synagogue services on Saturday morning, and would enjoy an afternoon walk. And to do it only on Sunday mornings would not make the churchgoers happy either.
It is illogical to me that an amount of public space as vast as the New York City road system is given away for free to private vehicles. This benefits a small minority, while stifling, endangering and inconveniencing the majority but provides no clear public benefit.
I applaud this modest "experiment" and hope that it is a step on the road to a car free New York.
Yes, it's always about Manhattan! Bridge and tunnel people are not crossing to get out of Manhattan on weekends, but to get into Manhattan.
On weekends, the streets swell with B&T's, tourists and local residents trying to enjoy a day off. How 'bout we just give it a chance and then other areas can be identified for similar use.
Let's just get the ball rolling on these plans and soon enough we will all enjoy the benefits of a better, safer NYC>
I agree that it would be safer for all that bikers have designated lanes/space. To answer some of the comments about bikers and peds colliding, I think the onus is on the bikers to watch for pedestrians, similarly to how people driving cars are responsible for looking out for pedestrians. If you're a biker you're going much faster than a walker and people walking can't see things beyond a certain point in their vantage and if you're coming fast the person could be looking right in your direction and not see you until you're right up on them.
why is this Saturday and not Sunday?
The speed limit for cyclists is the same as that for vehicles. And I can tell you that no cyclist will be able to reach 30 miles per hour on a NYC street (Lance Armstrong couldn't do it!)
The problems start when pedestrians walk out into an intersection without even looking. I commute to work by bike almost daily. And almost without fail someone on talking on their cell phone walks into the intersection (against the light) without checking for on coming traffic.
I will always try to yield to pedestrians, but you guys need to use a little common sense as well. Stay alert, look and listen for the bike bell, you'll find we can all share the streets easily.
Great idea. I pray the experiment proves a success and that a permanent corridor is dedicated to cyclists on the east side of Manhattan. Example: Just one traffic lane on either side of Park Ave dedicated to cyclists would greatly improve safety and enjoyment of getting through Manhattan on bikes and hopefully reduce traffic as a result of greater number of cyclists.
I need to drive in order to work because I am a musician with a large pile of gear I need to bring with me into the city for gigs. I am all for car restrictions. It would be well worth any trouble it would cause me.
For the fools that want to keep there "freedom to drive" illusion intact keep in mind that driving has become a nightmare already. What is so great about sitting in your car stuck in traffic ? Might as well get rid of as many cars as possible.
For car free routes in Brooklyn I think Van Brunt st, Richards and Beard st should go car free every weekend. There will be no way to get any place in my car anyway with the Ikea traffic. I don't think that the cities idea of painting a new yellow line on Columbia st is going to help that much.
Summer Streets is a great idea overall. How are we to understand what can and can't work without sometimes testing the feasibility of ideas in the world world. It is refreshing to see CDOT management try new approaches in making great ideas work in NYC and not bury them in reports.
Listening to comments by those living outside of Manhattan shows that there is an opportunity to design a five borrough alternative mode loop that is in operation year-around.
I think it's a great idea. Perhaps they could increase the bus service in the outer boroughs during those hours and publicize this so that people who normally drive don't feel totally neglected. I'd like to see it done on Austin Street in Queens. Also, I'm not sure about bikers and walkers sharing space. I think it could work if certain bikers learned street navigating etiquette. Rules need to be followed for pedestrian and rider safety, having dodged many a biker going the wrong way or disobeying some traffic rule myself. But they were all messenger or delivery people, I believe, so perhaps this bad behavior is not universal. Thanks!
It is not ok for cyclists when space is shared with pedestrians. I commute to work and school, and I find the pedestrians on the greenways I use (Eastern Parkway, Ocean Parkway, the Westside Greenway) to be more irritating/dangerous than I find cars to be when I'm riding on a regular street.
The city needs to focus more on really separating pedestrians and cyclists with different greenways.
I also think there should be car-free streets just for cyclists.
I'd just like to point out, contrary to what Sadik-Khan says, bikes and pedestrians DO NOT share space well. If there's a better example than the Williamsburg Bridge, I can't think of it: bicyclists and pedestrians collide frequently, and not necessarily at the fault of the cyclists. Remember that cyclists are high-speed -- several miles per hour faster than pedestrians. Pedestrians seem not to know how to behave alongside bikes, and will walk in front of bikes without realizing exactly how fast it is going. I am an avid biker (and pedestrian too) and advocate that any shared space should include separate bike lanes. It's simply safer. If Sadik-Khan thinks cyclists will not be using this space to commute up and down the island, and will only be meandering around, she is mistaken.
The Parkways might be considered - in Ottawa the (one and only) parkway along the Ottawa River is closed to traffic for cycle and pedestrian traffic on many Sundays during the good weather. My Uncle Fred who lived in Tarrytown and worked in a war plant used to walk from home following Broadway to lower Manhattan on Sunday (started early) and take the train home.
I welcome the vehicle-free bicycle-pedestrian route on three Saturdays but am puzzled that Sundays weren't chosen for this pilot program in order to lessen the stand of opponents (merchandize deliveries and such).
As a member of our local community board's transportation committee, I urge all proponents to work with their respective community boards to initiate such trials to other areas in all boroughs.
Anything that encourages people to get out of their cars and enjoy the city on a bike or on foot is a great idea. I'll certainly show support by participating on each of these three Saturdays, but what is really needed is a real effort by the city to encourage alternate means of transportation EVERY DAY---more bike lanes that are truly for bikes---no double parking by cars in those lanes! Transporation Alternatives and Times UP both of plenty of wonderful ideas.
Why park ave.to Central Park? Why not Flatbush to Prospect? It is always about Manhattan with this Mayor.
Was there not a similar street closure, notably 5th Avenue around the winter holidays.
I remember walking down a car free 5th and enjoying the party atmosphere.
Even though New York City has a great mass-transit system, it is a city built for cars. This Park Avenue effort is a step in the right direction. Why don't we make more of these no-cars zones permanent? My suggestion for a permanent car-free zone is Times Square. It is already clogged with pedestrians and cars move at snail's pace. Why don't we make it a true people's square with artists, street performers and vendies?
I think Brian should do a show about Curitiba, in Parana, Brazil.This is the city where in 1970 a plan went into effect that still goes on today, that prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle traffic, puts people overwhelmingly in public transportation that is cheap, overground, self- sufficient ; and that in a city that recycles in 5 categories which benefits the poor of this city. The Bogota example quoted in the show today was based on Curitiba- and the major who set this all in motion- Jaime Lerner is often in NYC.Its an oversight that in all the conversations that go on about air quality, self sustainability- etc, that Curitiba is nor more often looked at.
We should have permanent safe bike routes, not just the bike lanes which are often used by trucks and cars to unload. All of us benefit by those who choose to cycle rather than drive. We could solve the health problems of Type 2 diabetes, asthma, and help global warming just through more use of bicycles. Its a win win situation, lets change our thought and our air!
There NEED to be vendors! The closed boulevard along the ocean in Rio works so well partially because there is coconut water, empanadas, sweets, beers, and countless other snacks to eat along the way. Why is commerce looked at as such an evil in public spaces in this country?
Anything that's good for bikers is dangerous for walkers and everyone else.
Re: summer street closings. In theory a lovely idea but all residents of Brooklyn know how impossible public transportation is into Manhattan on week-ends.
what about putting the subways on the regular week-day schedule during the week-end street closings?
Or, better yet, what about making that schedule permanent throughout the week?
(My husband and I often go to Lincoln center on week-ends and we have to drive there because the weekend subways are so slow and unreliable)
I'll be looking for an organized bike event scheduled for these dates.
Nice idea in principle, but the last thing this city needs to do is to encourage the idiots who chose a bicycle as their method of transportation in New York.
Queens open road:
It's been done before on special occasions and street fairs, but to regularly pedestrianize STEINWAY STREET for a dozen blocks or more from L.I.C. up to the Northern part of Astoria would be great. It's a shopper's heaven, so merchants and residents should be happy!
walkers VERSUS bicyclists. As a veteran urban walker, I find I must fend off being hit by a bicycle as much as by a car. Are you going to separate the walkers from the bicyclists? Are you going to put a speed limit on the bicyclists? Pedestrians should not have to compete with bicyclists during a stroll on the Avenue. (There is a similar concern in Central Park, where walkers are pushed to the sidewalks while the bicyclists take up the roadway.)
<<< im rethinking this, i think park ave. is the worst idea... it should be done on a shoping street also
vernon blvd from astoria blvd to the LIE
Waterfront! Great N/S route between W Queens & Brooklyn.
Very low traffic volume on the weekends
In Washington, DC, they close Rock Creek Drive (an important parkway) EVERY weekend. Having lived right across the street from the park I can tell you it was FANTASTIC!
Just to echo some of the other callers, why ALWAYS the Manhattan focus of this administration???
Close Flatbush Avenue from the bridge to Prospect Park. THAT would be cool.
They need to stop focusing on shutting down the streets completely, and work on bike paths. If this woman has traveled anywhere, it should be to Amsterdam, where they have blocked off bike paths, so no one can double park in them. I just saw today, that they have a section on 9th Ave. that is blocked off, and the city should focus on restructuring the streets, so cars and bikes can coexist.
It's an experiment. Whether you're for or against this as a permanent policy, you should be glad that this is the approach they are taking. It is how all public policy should be made.
New Yorkers are the biggest bunch of complainers! 3 mornings of experiments is not that big a deal, if it doesn't work so be it, if it does, it will be rolled out to other locations. Also, how is this an assault on the working class? Last time I checked, 90% of the working class took the subway and the rich drove.
Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. Let's do it like Paris and just fill it in with sand. Could be really fun, especially in a Caribbean neighborhood like mine.
I think fulton st in brooklyn should be closed every day for bicycle traffic as it is not a major thoroughfare for autos and it would be an excellent bike route to the brooklyn / manhattan bridges
How about turning some attention to the MASS of people, including MANY tourists each w/e trying to cross/use the Brooklyn Bridge? It has become SO congested it's almost an impossible situation.
BROOKLYN--Flatbush, Fulton, Vanderbilt triangle
Grand Army Plaza and surrounding blocks
Ocean Parkway all the way to Coney Island!
How about the whole BQE? (that would get us Brooklynites and Queenies exploring each others' boros!
Biking for serious bikers who want exercise is AWFUL in NY - no open roads -
Yes they do this in Cambridge, ma and it's great! Memorial DRIVE every Sunday in the summer, I love it!! I used to live there and it was something I looked forward to!
One of the callers mentioned having a similar car-free route in the Bronx. There actually has been at least two Saturdays in the late summer/fall of last year in which Grand Concourse was closed to cars--this is in addition to the Tour of the Bronx which resulted in a similar closure. I enjoy such closers as I gave my car away and bike for commutation & exercise. I can only encourage an increase of such efforst in the Bronx and other boroughs.
The City used to close the upper Grand Concourse --Bedford Park to Mosholu Parkway-- but Guiliani wasn't a big fan of the idea and they ended it.
what about canal st. so many people on the sidewalks.
the 'atlantic antic' in bklyn every summer already clears atlantic avenue of cars
All Bloomie's pals are out of town in August!
I think people in NYC are too pressured/vicious for bike lanes - our streets are too narrow and uneven - it's not like we are quaint little Amsterdam - and Paris is less dense - I used to get up at the crack of dawn to be able to rollerblade without anxiety from cyclists or overcrowding with pedestrians.
It would be a hilarious study in crowd dynamics to do this on Main Street in Flushing.
The Bronx River Parkway around Scarsdale to Tuckahoe (~8 miles) is closed EVERY Sunday. How can Westchester be more forward-thinking than New York City? Sad.
Since the city has such bad designs for our parks (washinton sq) WOW this would be a great idea. In the boros also...
Why doesn't the city close the street in front of each grade schools and middle schools during lunch so that the kids who don't get gym every day can run around?
If we worry about kids getting fatter and not being able to settle down in school, why not let them have a place to play
I would ride my bike more if I did not have to carry it up and down 3 flights of stairs. Are there any plans, ideas to encourage landlords - thru tax incentives maybe? - to create bike parking facilities for tenants?
Wonderful idea! Wish it was longer, maybe for the whole weekend.
I think it is a great idea. What about Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. From Prospect Park to the beach?
What happens to the route at Grand Central Terminal?
Really should be done every w/e, either Saturday or Sunday, for the whole day. Merchants complaining that it will hurt their businesses if the streets are closed to CARS (like their customers all drive!) 7am- 1PM??? On a SATURDAY?? Nobody in NYC goes out before noon!
BTW, Happy to have Ms Sadik-Kahn as the DOT commish, doing a MUCH better job than Chuckie's wife.
7 - 1, what's the point. i hope this is just a start.to the caller bedford st, bkln will also go traffic free PART of the summer.
This is Great! I hope it catches on. I have always wanted the city to permanently shut down some cross-town streets and create more "street Malls", similar to the Fulton street mall. Perhaps we can even plant some grass and trees there.
and how about cars out of the park, which should never have been an auto thoroughfare?
Obi, People live here - it is not just a place for you to make money or shop or whatever you want to do here in your car.
To make more explicit what Nick builds upon:
Most people in Manhattan are not car drivers. The city is blessed with an amazing subway system and the cost of having a car is New York is so high that driving just doesn't make sense for them.
And so, this experiment serves the majority, primarily at the expense of a minority. That it is just for half a Saturday -- or three Saturdays -- is hardly a major inconvenience for those car drivers.
As for business deliveries, they certainly can occur on Friday or later or Saturday without too much difficulty.
It's a great idea. I have experienced a similar type program in Bogota, and it's fantastic. The air is cleaner and people mingle more. My only complaint concerns the hours---from 7 am - 1 pm, the later being when many New Yorkers are just waking up!
This is how Rome and other Italian cities became pedestrianized. It started out during the mid 1970's during the "oil crisis" and it was begun nationwide as a Sundays only thing. The idea was a smash hit with the public and eventually the idea took hold on a pernament basis. Now, what we need to totally free transportaion and slowly we will get to the future of NY
#6 - Obi - I somehow doubt this will cause untold headaches on Saturday from 7 am - 1 pm. Please, we've heard this before. The sky ain't falling and I got news for you, there is already untold traffic headaches all around the city. Or the sky already fell.
Why is this not being done on SUNDAY?
while this is a nice gesture, it pales in comparison to the need for protected bicycle lanes and safe intersections for those of us who choose NOT to drive in manhattan. too many people have died needlessly for the selfishness that sees people who think driving is a right here.
Why are people complaining? 7am-1pm on three lousy Saturdays is no big deal.
Seemingly random/generic street fairs all over this city take up more time, bring less benefits and create more problems for local businesses via their inherent competition. Why aren't people complaining about them?
and in response to the current caller, why is it that the same amount of traffic has to be the only option - why cant less people drive?
Obinot going to "cause untold traffic headaches" for me. the less cars the better. it's just one day a week.i wish it was all day.
This is a great idea! I applaud the Bloomberg administration for its work to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians and to generally improve living conditions for New Yorkers.
My question is why can't the city get the Police to enforce traffic laws? I commute to work most days in the spring, summer and fall. I can tell you from direct experience that the most frustrating and dangerous part of my daily commute is the simple lack of enforcement. Cars and trucks parked in bike lanes, cabs and livery drivers entering Central Park prior to 8am, and the general lack of compliance with traffic laws (using turn signals, speeding etc.).
A good quick step forward would be to address the enforcement situation.
Keep up the good work and don't back down to the whining business owners. Experience from cities around the world shows that they will profit from better streets and traffic flow.
The idea is great, and merchants along the way could benefit greatly, but why not use different routes on different days to not over burden/benefit one particular group?
I am a serious cyclist, not that serious but I cycle everywhere all the time so this is not for me but I support it. The question is, won't it be hard to cycle because the streets will be filled with wandering pedestrians and strollers, etc?
Jeanette Sadik-Khan is amazing! I heart all of the changes she's made so far (bike paths with green paint so cars STAY OFF!).
This sounds so much fun!
..The only question I have is there anything else to do about the hours? Why not on Sunday?
Will pedicabs be allowed on the car-free route? AND what about bike rentals? Will this lead to bike sharing like in Paris and Washington DC?
This is a great idea. I realize it will put some business out but they do it in Boston on Memorial Drive which is a main route for commuters and although it does cause them to have to re-route - people absolutely LOVE it in Boston and they look forward to it every weekend in the summer! It's a real treat to be able to walk, ride bikes, skateboard, etc. down the portion of memorial drive that they block off. It's such a fun treat and families go with their children and have a nice day of it.
7am-1pm??? What a joke.
Anyother major city which does this every Sunday is Rio de Janeiro. They close the major avenue along the ocean from Leblon to Ipanema to Copacabana to Leme. Rain or shine, there are thousands of people out walking, biking, skating, and enjoying time with this kids in toy wagons. This is a great idea this should be welcome in NYC too!
Could there be a connection with Brooklyn with the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges ? What about a route through Brooklyn to Prospect Park
My friend who is from Bogota Colombia, were this idea originates from! He told me that the execution of this in Manhattan is the wrong approach that this would best fit the outer boroughs first not the other way around...The outer borough are more suited since they are more residential.
The telephone connection with your guest sounds very muddy and far away. The same poor quality was heard with your Digesting Politics call with Ms Bernstein.
I can't see why merchants don't think the additional business they'll get from all the foot traffic will outweigh the inconvenience of having to find a new way (or hour) to receive their inventory. People are stubborn.
Brian:This is just another shameful example of the mayor bending over backwards to suck up to his affluent friends in Manhattan at the expense of everyone else in the City -- The exact same motivation the fueled the whole congestion pricing fiasco. Its going to cause untold traffic headaches for the rest of us and I'm sure this so called "experiment" will soon be made permanent and expanded to other streets. Is there really a clamor for "City sponsored yoga" in the streets of NY.
can't wait. wish they did it all weekend, all summer. cars are not needed in manhattan
It's about time driving is treated as the privilege that it is, and not a right, and the rights of New Yorkers on the whole are put above the desires of the few.
Time Square. Central Park should be permanently car free.
About time. Having lived in Cali & Bogota, Colombia, those cities would regularly close major streets on weekends for families to stroll and bicycle riders. I say go a step further and close down time square to cars and make it a community bazaar!
I saw Bloomberg at Astor place (displaced the Mud Truck!), and I wish it would be extended beyond 7am-1pm. Regardless, I appreciate the sentiment by the mayor to start this initiative, and hopefully this will be the beginning of something bigger (better bike paths, fewer cars, better mass transit).
Overall, it seems more symbolic than anything else, but many of the most revolutionary changes begin as small.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.