Press Releases

March 1, 2024
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NYC DOT Finalizes Rules for Open Streets Program, Calls for Organizations to Apply to be Partners Ahead of Friday Deadline

New rules help community organizations more easily manage Open Streets

New York – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced new rules for the city's Open Streets initiative. This program, born out of the pandemic response uses the city's streets—its largest network of public space – to create welcoming and vibrant community hubs. Last year, NYC DOT was proud to operate over 230 Open Streets at locations throughout the city to provide more public space for New Yorkers to ride bikes, walk, and safely enjoy a wide range of activities on their streets. The finalized rules, published this week, provide requirements for Open Street partners, placing a strong emphasis on equity and the expansion of public space throughout the city.

"Our streets are our collective front yards. Not every New Yorker has access to high-quality parks – but every New Yorker, through Open Streets, can better utilize their block as community spaces where they can meet family and loved ones and build community with their neighbors," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "When we create welcoming streets for people, we can improve New Yorkers' health and quality of life and help our local businesses thrive."

The adopted rules formalize the Open Streets application process for partners to apply to manage their own sites and request resources from NYC DOT. They also clarify criteria for eligible Open Street partners, establishing a regulatory framework for program management and operations. The rules include several revisions based on community feedback collected through a public comment period following the release of the draft rules in 2023. Those revisions include:

  • Clarifying that emergency access in addition to an emergency lane must be clear at all times for emergency vehicle access
  • Providing a longer public notice period of new Open Street locations
  • Allowing chairs in any pedestrian area of an Open Street, and
  • Clarifying that Open Street partners are not required to enforce requirements relating to public conduct on the Open Street.

The Open Streets application is open until this Friday, March 1st, 2024. Both new and returning partners must apply online to manage an Open Street in their community. Returning partners can complete a streamlined application by providing their 2023 application ID. New partners must submit a full application at: Open Streets 2024 Application

New York City's Open Streets program transforms streets into public space open to all. These transformations allow for a range of activities that promote economic development, support schools, facilitate pedestrian and bike mobility, and provide new ways for New Yorkers to enjoy cultural programming and build community. In 2022, NYC DOT released a formative study showing businesses with corridors on Open Streets saw significantly faster sales growth than businesses on a nearby corridor without an operating Open Street.

To read the final rules, please visit the notice of adoption page.