Press Releases

Press Release #20-034
Friday, July 24, 2020
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850

New York City Department of Transportation Encourages New Yorkers to Participate in Open Streets and Open Restaurants in the Absence of Summer Streets and Weekend Walks

Summer Streets, held annually since 2008, will not be held this year, but a myriad of outdoor and car-free initiatives remain available to New Yorkers

The New York City Department of Transportation announced today that in following with the Administration’s Executive Order banning larger gatherings through September it would not be holding NYC’s iconic summer event, Summer Streets, which normally takes place the first three Saturdays of each August. The DOT emphasized a wide array of other outdoor and largely car-free options this summer for New Yorkers to enjoy during the Covid-19 recovery oftentimes outside their own doorsteps, including Open Restaurants and the continually expanding Open Streets program. The highly popular Weekend Walks program remains on hold at this time.

In addition to the Executive Order and the social distancing challenges impacting Summer Streets and Weekend Walks this year, the City’s outdoor and car-free related programming focus remains on maintaining Open Streets across the City. Held annually since 2008 the highly successful Summer Streets would attract 300,000 attendees each summer along the 7 mile corridor of Park Avenue/4th Avenue/Lafayette and Centre streets running from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street.

Open Restaurants, announced in June, has allowed over 9,000 establishments to set up outdoor sidewalk and/or roadway seating immediately outside their frontages to serve food and drinks. Open Streets is an initiative announced in April that partially or fully closes streets around the City for New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing. This month the City announced that many establishments participating in Open Restaurants would be allowed to expand their seating for certain Friday-Sunday hours if the specific corridor was approved.

Weekend Walks, a companion program of Summer Streets, was first launched in 2008 as well and has since grown to over 120 car free events throughout the five boroughs each year, promoting active lifestyles and support for local neighbors business in collaboration with local stakeholders. In years past the programming has run as late as December and its status for 2020 remains to be determined.