NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today invited New Yorkers and visitors to take to the streets once again as Summer Streets returns, bringing seven miles of car-free City streets for the next three Saturdays, Aug. 8, 15 and 22. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., vehicle traffic will be replaced by New Yorkers biking, rollerblading or strolling their way from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park along Lafayette Street, 4 Avenue, Park Avenue and 72 Street. The Summer Streets events this year are being joined by 13 pedestrian events in all five boroughs through September, allowing all New Yorkers to enjoy their streets in a whole new way.
"The idea behind Summer Streets has always been simple: create an appealing public space for people to enjoy, and New Yorkers would do the rest," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Thanks to the incredible response from New Yorkers, Summer Streets has already become a real New York tradition. Some 50,000 people came out to the streets on each of the three Summer Streets weekends last year, and with hundreds of new activities from salsa lessons to junior tennis lessons to bike share, there are even more reasons to come out for free fun this year."
The Commissioner also demonstrated the prototypes of the winning designs from the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton "Bike in Style" Challenge. As part of the Challenge, student designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology created stylish yet practical bike clothing and gear in support of the bicycling promotion initiatives that are part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's PlaNYC. The Challenge winner, Jessica Velasquez, a native New Yorker hailing from Queens, was announced at an award ceremony on June 2.
This year, Summer Streets has been complemented by nearly 50 other smaller-scale street events in 13 communities citywide known as Weekend Walks - temporary pedestrian areas on weekends ranging between one and seven blocks in length. These events, which began in June and will continue through September, have been sponsored by local BIDs and community groups throughout the City and have been a real boon for local businesses, which see a major increase in foot traffic. For more information, visit nyc.gov/weekendwalks.
Summer Streets is possible thanks to generous sponsors and programming partners. In addition to the LVMH , Cabot Cheese, Juan Valdez, Crunch, RCN and Bicycle Habitat are also among the invaluable sponsors of the event. Transportation Alternatives will provide bicycle valet parking as well as feeder rides to and from the event. DOT will also offer free bicycle helmet fittings, Bike New York will offer classes on how to ride a bike and the 5 Borough Bicycle Club will offer tutorials on how to ride safely through New York City traffic. Orange bicycles commemorating the 400th anniversary of the exploration of New York City will be made available, courtesy of the Dutch government. For those on feet instead of wheels, Piel Canela will offer a range of Latin dance classes, Make Music New York will bring local acts to the stage and the Kid's Zone will offer games and activities for families. The route streets will be car-free until 1 p.m. and the area is expected to return to normal conditions by 1:30 p.m. Key cross streets will remain open.
Summer Streets Program Highlights for Aug. 8:
- Kick-off run with Team in Training: Group run sponsored by Team in Training on the Aug. 8 leaving from Foley Square at 7:30 a.m.
- Feeder riders with Transportation Alternatives: All three weekends. Summer Streets Feeder Rides depart at 8:30 am from locations all over the city and leave the festivities at noon. Rides are being led from Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn; Woodlawn, Bronx; Astoria, Queens; and Inwood, Manhattan. Visit www.transalt.org for more details and to RSVP.
- Over 150 free bikes on the route: All three weekends at Family Rest Stop (51st Street and Park Avenue), Music & Culture Rest Stop (24th Street and Park Avenue) and the Soho Station (Broome and Lafayette).
- Free skates too: All three weekends at Family Rest Stop (51st Street and Park Avenue), Music & Culture Rest Stop (24th Street and Park Avenue) and the Soho Station (Broome and Lafayette).
- Bike Share Demonstrations: All three weekends at 26th Street between Park Ave & Lexington Ave and 47th Street between Park Ave & Lexington Ave. and also appearing on the second and third weekends at 26th Street between Park & Lexington Ave
- Picnic area with Cabot Cheese: All three weekends from 8 a.m.-12:30 at the Family Rest Stop on Park Avenue and 51st Street
- Summer Streets photo contest: With NY400, providing photo booths and loaner cameras to capture the fun of Summer Streets: All three weekends from 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Soho Station, Lafayette Street and Spring Street. Upload your Summer Streets photos to the Summer Streets group on Flickr to participate.
- Classes by Crunch: All three weekends. Different themed classes, from pilates to aerobics, taking place every half hour from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Fitness Station, 12th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues.
- Musical performance by Brazilian/New Orleans fusion music by Maracatu NY: On Aug. 8 stop by the Music and Culture Rest Stop on 24th Street between Park and Madison Avenues for performances. Be sure to visit www.nyc.gov/summerstreets to check out the lineup for the other two weekends.
The remaining Weekend Walks events follow:
- Pitkin Saturday Plazas - Pitkin Avenue between Strauss and Thomas Boyland Streets, Saturday, September 12th, 19th, and 26th, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sponsored by Pitkin Avenue BID.
- Move About Myrtle - Myrtle Avenue between Clinton Street and Emerson Place, Sunday, September 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sponsored by Myrtle Ave Partnership.
- Montague Summer Space - Montague Street between Hicks and Clinton Streets, Sunday, September 13th, 20th, and 27th, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sponsored by Montague BID.
- Stanton Street Summer Sundays - Stanton Street between Allen and Orchard Streets, Sunday, August 23rd and 30th and September 6th and 13th, 1 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., Sponsored by Lower East Side BID.
- 46th Street Weekend Walks - 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue, Saturdays in August, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Sponsored by Sunnyside Shines BID.
- Astoria Water Walk - Shore Boulevard between Astoria Park South and Ditmars Boulevard, Sunday, August 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sponsored by Astoria Park Alliance.
- Van Duzer Days - Van Duzer Street between Wright and Beach Streets, Saturday August 8th, 15th, and 22nd, 12 p.m.- 8 p.m., Sponsored by Downtown SI Council.