Where Would You Have a “Summer Street”?


On Tuesday WNYC’s Brian Lehrer asked listeners to send in their suggestions for future "Summer Streets" locations. Responses — which included Flatbush Avenue, one tube of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and the Henry Hudson Parkway — were mapped here.

Other picks?

  • Dan

    Um. Broadway would be perfect. How about from the southern tip of the island up to at least 72nd street(125th or the whole way would be ideal).


  • How about 7th Avenue in Park Slope?

  • Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes connecting City Hall Park/Brooklyn Bridge to Battery Park

  • Agree, Broadway from bottom to top would be ideal.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Traffic free streets benefit retail and restaurants — that’s the problem with Park. Broadway would have been better.

    In Brooklyn, 5th Avenue N/S and Myrtle E/W right over to Ridgewood.

  • Another vote for Broadway, all of it. It’s the one street that runs the entire length of Manhattan.

  • 1) 207th St (Inwood) -> Fordham Rd (Bronx) -> Bronx/Pelham Parkway -> Pelham Bay Park. By bike you’d get to see Inwood Hill Park, the Botanical Gardens and Zoo, and Pelham Bay Park. It’s a course of about 6 miles with fantastic mass transit connections all along the route.

    2) Broadway, from Inwood to Battery Park. A fascinating and ever-changing street providing a cross-section of Manhattan’s neighborhoods!

  • d

    Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park.

  • 4th or 5th avenue in park slope

  • Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg — going from the bridge to McCarran Park.

  • Out of curiosity, isn’t the idea to get the traffic onto the circumferential roads? Wouldn’t closing the HHP be anathema to that idea? I can only imagine the massive increase of volume on the local roads in upper Manhattan if the HHP were to be shut north of 125th St.

    And, yes, I know the point is to get people out of their cars and off the roads.

  • Here’s a wild idea: how about a car-free Manhattan day? Certain streets are completely pedestrianized. Others are left open to motor vehicle traffic, but only for delivery trucks, emergency vehicles, buses, and taxis.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Here’s a wild idea: how about a car-free Manhattan day?”

    Believe it or not, I had an even wilder idea back when the Olympics were being discussed here. A car-free Manhattan south of 60th Street entire weekend, coinciding with a “World of New York” festival.

    The idea being that NYC didn’t need an established event (like the Olympics) to make the city, it is a city that is capable of making an new event (like the NYC marathon). So the idea would be to combine a local sports festival with a local cultural festival (like Edinborough or Spoleto) on the streets of Manhattan South of 60th, and the East River Bridges. The whole metro area could be involved, not just NYC.

    Private motor vehicles would be prohibited in the whole area from noon Friday, when the festival would begin, to midnight Sunday, when it would end. Everyone would have to take transit, walk or bike in, and deliveries would have to be made early.

    It could start the first Friday in August, which could become a semi-holiday, as there are current holidays in the summer approximately one-month apart (Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day) excluding that period. Set-up would be that morning. Those who wanted to participate could take that day off to do so. Residents of Prince Street could flee to Margaretville or Andes upstate on Thursday.

    All the streets with extensive ground floor commercial would have events. On one street you’d have an ongoing festival featuring the fashion/crafts/music/art of a particular NYC ethnic/cultural group. On another you’d have a non-major sports competition, like badminton or ping pong or something. Plenty of street food, but restaurants could make money on drinks, bathrooms, and people looking to sit down.

    (Not just the usual street fair stuff, I would hope).

    There would be major stages in big locations such as Times Square and perhaps someplace Downtown, with music, comedy, etc.

    Fireworks Friday and Saturday night with the East River Bridges closed for viewing.

    And a huge parade going the length of Broadway. Got a group with costumes or a float or a band? You’re in. Start with American Indians who could come down from upstate. End with New York’s most recent arrivals. If there are too many who want to march for one parade, have two on two different streets.

    I wonder what it would cost, and if sponsorship and the increased sales tax revenues from people coming in from outside would cover it. The big cost would be port-o-johns and clean up. But most of what would be going on is people just doing things themselves. It could start out small and get bigger.

    Heck, maybe it could start out on Park Avenue on one of the Saturdays.

  • Larry, I love it!

  • Great suggestions, everybody. I especially like the Inwood – Pelham Bay Park connection that Urbanis suggested because it’s something I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t because I figure that it won’t be much fun in traffic.

    One minor question, though: Is anyone at Streetsblog in touch with the staff of the Brian Lehrer Show? It seems slightly redundant to collect suggestions both here and at wnyc.org; I hope that all the ideas will be consolidated and presented to DOT for future reference.

  • Light Rail/Pedestrian Street Grid For Manhattan

    Starting with vision42 – an auto-free light rail boulevard on 42nd Street – as a prototype, a whole grid of these streets would make sense in Manhattan, the nation’s most crowded urban place. While a number of options are worth considering, clearly the grid should include streets that have the greatest number of pedestrians. Light rail (in some cities they are called modern “streetcars”) would replace existing local and limited city bus routes on most of the avenues and many crosstown streets. Initially, the plan could make use of low floor articulated buses, gradually converting each route to light rail over a number of years. Temporary amenities could be replaced with permanent ones as the conversion to light rail progresses. Some 50 to 60 miles of Manhattan’s 600 miles of streets would be included. This plan would work best if combined with key strategies to reduce car use, like congestion pricing and car free Central Park Drives. Enough streets would remain open to traffic to accommodate goods movement and essential car traffic. In Lower Manhattan and in the Village additional auto-free streets, without light rail lines would make sense.

    Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, Inc. http://www.irum.org

  • How about Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, from the Beach to the ‘Burg? Talk about a cross-section of different cultures!!

  • Or Flatbush Ave, which we cyclists avoid like the plague but provides the most direct route to Prospect Park from Manhattan?

  • Spud Spudly

    All I know is it looks like they’re setting up for a street fair this Sunday on Columbus from 86th to 96th and I’m psyched.

  • ms nomer

    On July 19 & 26, and August 2 & 9, Bedford Avenue in Northside Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be closed to cars from Metropolitan Avenue to North 9th Street. Details will be up soon at http://www.billburg.com/walks.

  • I think the FDR drive would be nice… a bike expressway on the East River, plus it has a really nice view. Although, Broadway is a better suggestion.

    I’d also like Coney Island Ave. in Brookyln.

  • How about Figueroa in Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA 90065 to 90042? Any takers? Our mayoralty is up for grabs soon. Bloomberg, are you listening?

  • gecko

    How about paving the subways for cars, add on ramps, and let the people have the streets?

  • As previously proposed on Streetsblog: pedestrianize the Central Park Transverses!

  • I like the Flatbush Avenue idea. I bike it out to Prospect Park because it’s direct but I feel like I’m taking my life into my hands.


Summer Streets Headlines

Streetsblog is running our weekend news wrap-up in two sections this morning. This section is devoted to stories about Saturday’s inaugural Summer Streets event. Links to non-Summer Streets coverage are here. The following headlines are titled as they appeared in source publications. Prior to the event: Will Car-Free ‘Summer Streets’ Work? (City Room) Streets Built […]

Why Is Summer Streets So Rare?

The forecast for Saturday is bleak — 100 percent chance of rain, lasting just about all day. Tomorrow also happens to be the first Summer Streets event of 2014 (as well as the first during the de Blasio mayoralty). Good thing the main attraction is in a tunnel. But since there are only two other […]

Streetfilms: Scenes From Summer Streets

Saturday was the second of three Summer Streets this August, with car-free streets along Park Avenue and Lafayette Street from 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Couldn’t make it yourself? Clarence Eckerson Jr. from Streetfilms, as always, has got you covered. Clarence says he was particularly struck by how many people pedaled the route using […]

It’s Past Time to Make Summer Streets Even Greater

When Summer Streets launched in 2008, it was accompanied by a veritable New York media firestorm. “Will Car-Free ‘Summer Streets’ Work?” asked the Times. “Businesses Brace for Summer Streets,” warned WNYC. Seven years on, New York’s marquee car-free event has become a popular August institution. It’s time for more. Since its first edition, Summer Streets has […]