Summer Streets, Week 2: Where You’ll Hear Human Voices, Not Honking

Summer Streets is back for week two tomorrow. Expect sunny skies, warm temps, and laughter emanating from the Voice Tunnel. Oh, and no cars.

The fun starts at 7 a.m. Readers report a long wait at the tunnel, so come early.

Happy weekend, everybody.

  • This is a really nice video! Can’t wait to check it out.

  • Ben Kintisch

    I’m up at 5:40 AM on a Saturday to go to Summer Streets bright and early. And because the baby alarm went off.

  • carma

    was there at 10-12 today. fantastic summer day. except one crosswalk where a pedestrian darted out and said i have right away and started cursing at all the other cyclists and pedestrians. i swear she looked exactly like dorothy rabinowitz.

  • Jeff

    I went this afternoon and made the same observation as last year: I’ve never seen the streets on this corridor move so much traffic! The raw number of human beings being transported a given distance in a given amount of time was much higher than in the streets’ usual configurations.

    I also decided to lock up my bike in exchange for the free rollerblade rentals at one point. Turns out that rollerblades don’t have brakes. Lowest-speed collision into a traffic barrier I’ve ever experienced/witnessed.

  • Anonymous

    They did a better job this year with closing some of the cross-streets to eliminate the frequent stops, especially uptown. This helped the flow of the ride; but, on the downside, it removed some ability for pedestrians to cross, thereby generating lots of ill will (which I heard frequently expressed). There should be signs telling pedestrians where the nearest crossing is located.

    Other observations:

    * The traffic signals at closed cross-streets should be covered. Several times I stopped at red lights, only to find that the intersection was closed and there was no need.

    * You can only walk through the tunnel, not ride. Heck with that. I came to ride, not to walk.

    * Lafayete St. near Kenmare St. is too thin for this event; the bottleneck there was the only point where I felt it was a bit dangerous. Maybe it would be better to have the northbound route from the Brooklyn Bridge turn right off of Lafayette onto Broome, and then left up Cleveland Place, where it would rejoin Lafayette at Spring St.

    * As in past years, I am amazed that there are no porta-johns. I made a stop at my office this time; and in past years I have stopped as Washington Square Park or at the playground on 68th St. and First Avenue. But, unless you work in the area or are aware of the existence of a particular park bathroom, you are just out of luck when you have to relieve yourself.

    * No merchandise! An ongoing disappointment. I have a large collection of caps; and I certainly would have bought a cap with the Summer Streets logo. Surely they could sell caps (baseball-style and bicycle-style), tee-shirts, key chains, and other stuff with the logo.

    I also wonder whether other avenues could be considered. I know that Park has several advantages: it has Grand Central; it’s already two-way; it connects to Lafayette St. and so goes all the way downtown. But I can’t help but think that Madison Ave. would be a good place for this ride also. You could still do Lafayette and Park Ave. South up to 24th or 25th St., and then jump over to Madison.

    Anyway, it was good to be out there; and I will try to make what will probably be the last-ever version of this event next week.

  • Matthias

    This is very cool! Glad I went the first day before there was a wait. I hope they open the tunnel to everyone next year.

    I agree that the signals on blocked cross streets should be put in flash mode. Pedestrians are free to cross at any point, whether or not they join in the fun!


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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?