Press Releases

May 31, 2023
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NYC DOT to Launch Shabbos Open Streets on Staten Island

New Open Streets on Suffolk Avenue and Vermont Court in Castleton Corners will promote walking, bike, and play among children during Shabbos

New Front Street Open Street to operate select summer Saturdays

Locations highlight broad partnerships for Open Streets as city continues building program to reimagine our streets

NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced today the launch of two new Open Streets on Staten Island to support Shabbos in partnership with the borough's Jewish community. The block-long Open Streets on Suffolk Avenue and Vermont Court, in Castleton Corners, will support walking, cycling, and play among children during Shabbos, with operations in effect Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The announcement comes as NYC DOT gears to launch a third new Open Street on Front Street, running from St. George to Stapleton on the Island's North Shore, during select Saturdays this summer.

"New York City DOT is continuing to expand our Open Streets program across the five boroughs to ensure all New Yorkers have access to welcoming public spaces," said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. "Our Shabbos Open Streets are a great example of the broad variety of partners NYC DOT engages with to manage and program our Open Streets. We welcome community groups and institutions to consider applying to take part in the program and help New Yorkers reimagine their streets."


Open Streets is a community-led program, meaning community groups apply to launch and operate locations. Eligible organizations include cultural, faith-, and health-based institutions, schools, business improvement districts, and other local community groups. DOT is partnering with the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO) to operate two new "Shabbos Open Streets" in Castleton Corners on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, starting Friday, June 2, and running through September.

One location will run along Suffolk Avenue, from Queen Street to Harold Street. A second, abutting Open Street will run on Vermont Court, between Gansevoort Boulevard and Suffolk Avenue. These Open Streets are scheduled to be in operation Fridays, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


DOT is also partnering with City Council Member Kamillah Hanks and the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation to launch an Open Street on Front Street, from Bay to Prospect streets, during the following six Saturdays:

  • June 17
  • June 24
  • July 15
  • July 22
  • July 29
  • August 5

Each Saturday will feature a different theme. Hours of operation for Front Street will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This April, NYC DOT announced the launch of nearly 160 Open Street locations for the 2023 season--as well as funding to make permanent enhancements to existing Open Streets. That April announcement included the addition of a Staten Island Open Street along Water Street in Stapleton, from Beach Street to Canal Street, which is set to launch on Saturday, June 3. This Open Street, operated by the Van Duzer Street Civic Association, will be in effect on Saturdays between 11:30 am and 6:30 pm.

The Front Street and Shabbos Open Streets add to the existing total and come as the agency finalizes a second round of 2023 Open Streets, which will be announced soon.

Both the Front Street and Water Street Open Streets are being supported through NYC DOT's Public Space Equity Program. The program offers staffing support via the Horticultural Society of New York, programming, and funding to locations in underserved communities to help ensure all New Yorkers can reimagine their streets and have access to welcoming public spaces. NYC DOT recently announced a new RFP for the program to expand resources to more locations citywide.

"I am excited to partner with the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation and NYC DOT to bring the Open Streets initiative to Front Street. This project not only promotes pedestrian-friendly spaces but also fosters economic development and community engagement," said City Council Member Kamillah Hanks. "By activating Front Street on these six Saturdays with unique themes, we are creating a vibrant and inclusive environment for residents and visitors alike. I look forward to seeing this initiative grow and its ongoing success in our borough."

"As we approach the summer, I am excited that Open Streets will be making their way to Staten Island. By providing a safe place for children and their families to walk, play, or cycle, we are exploring new ways to make the most of our community," said Assembly Member Sam Pirozzolo. "I look forward to seeing the results and usage of these spaces come to fruition."

"When the idea of having the Open Streets project was first proposed by Staten Island Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Roseann Caruana as a solution for the community children for having open space to safely enjoy and for community members to gather and enjoy we were thrilled. It provided a solution of creating a safe recreational space for the community to enjoy," said Mendy Mirocznik, President, Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO). "We at COJO are thrilled and we thank Staten Island Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Roseann Caruana for spearheading and taking the lead on this important initiative and for coordinating the implementation of the Open Streets Project with our Borough President Vito Fossella and our borough's elected officials who met this proposal with enthusiasm. What I am most proud of is this great partnership of community and government working together in helping to make this plan a reality. We truly are looking forward to a great experience that helps people."

"The DOT Open Streets program has not only enabled businesses to continue to succeed, but has given residents, patrons, and visitors the opportunity to be more invested in our communities," said Michael Cusick, President & CEO, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation. "As the Economic Development Corporation of Staten Island, Open Streets exceeds in helping our neighborhood districts and commercial corridors build on their potential. We are happy to continue the program in the New Dorp BID, and now along Front Street supporting the Stapleton community with Council Member Kamillah Hanks."

"The Van Duzer Civic Association is so excited that NYC Open Streets 'Stapleton Saturdays' program is again running every Saturday in June & September, from 12-6 pm, at Water Street, between Beach Street & Wright Street, on Staten Island," said Peter Lisi, President, Van Duzer Civic Association. "Thank you to the Department of Transportation for transforming our city streets into public spaces. Not often can one play and have fun in the middle of a normally busy New York City Street! Come visit and join Stapleton Saturdays, voted one of the 'Best Open Streets' in New York City."