Don’t Forget That “Summer Streets” Starts Saturday

The city's car-free block party from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge marks its 11th year.

The final Summer Streets of 2013 is tomorrow. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycstreets/6076947780/##NYC DOT##
See how great Manhattan can be without cars!

Welcome to the first of three “Summer Streets” days — when New Yorkers get their annual reminder of how great Manhattan could be if there were no cars.

Of course, the Department of Transportation’s 11th annual car-free event only covers a narrow corridor — seven miles from Central Park, down Park Avenue to Lafayette Avenue to Centre Street to the Brooklyn Bridge — and it’s only for the first three Saturdays of August, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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The detailed Summer Streets map (see image below) highlights five “rest stops” along the way, where DOT offers cultural, fitness, musical, culinary and sports programming, including a zip line in Foley Square and a rock climbing wall near Astor Place, where DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will kick off the festivities with a press conference and photo op at 8:30 a.m. (Full list is here.)

There’s no question people enjoy Summer Streets, but Streetsblog has long argued that its vision of a car-free Manhattan needs to be greatly expanded — and probably could be if it wasn’t so expensive due to heavy police presence.

And if the full Summer Streets isn’t your bag, there are smaller car-free events as part of DOT’s “Weekend Walks” series this Saturday, including those on Glenwood Road between Nostrand and Flatbush (featuring the Roots); E. 186th St. between Arthur and Hughes, and on Hughes Avenue between Crescent and E. 187th; and the Coney Island Music Festival on
Stillwell Avenue between Surf and Bowery, and on Bowery from W. 12th to W. 15th.

This year's Summer Streets map. Photo: DOT
This year’s Summer Streets map. Photo: DOT

 

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