SEE IT: Car-Free Mott Street is a Model for All Commercial Zones

Mott Street is a car-free zone.
Mott Street is a car-free zone.

Now you can see car-free Mott Street with your own eyes.

Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson filmed the official launch on Wednesday of the new open restaurant street in Chinatown between Worth and Mosco streets — and found more than 100 safe, comfortable seats in multiple dining areas along curbs that up until now had been used only by vehicles.

Boosters say Mott Street points the way to what can be done citywide.

“We really need to look all over the city at all these blocks and determine where it is appropriate to shut down a full street,” said Andrew Rigie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

Longtime restaurant architect David Rockwell was also on hand to see his handiwork.

“New York is about sharing the street — it’s not about empty concrete buildings, so it’s pretty overwhelming as an architect to be a part of such a wonderful community,” Rockwell said.

Rockwell’s company, The Rockwell Group, created the modular designs and is providing them for free on the company’s website.

One nifty design feature are rolling shelves filled with plants that can be pulled out from the seating areas to fully close the roadway to cars every Friday night.

NYC Hospitality Alliance President Melba Wilson saw a bigger goal than just eating.

“It is vitally important that we support our neighborhoods,” said Wilson, owner of her eponymous restaurant in Harlem.

Also watch the two-minute film for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Streetsblog Editor/Recovering Shoulder Separation Victim Gersh Kuntzman and super intern Adam Light.

Screen Shot 2020-07-30 at 10.27.43 AM

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

On a Manhattan avenue where transit and high-occupancy vehicles take precedence and the curb is reserved for deliveries, large amounts of street space can be claimed for walking and biking. Image: Street Plans Collaborative

Envisioning NYC’s Next Streets Revolution

|
New York can be a city where everyone from young kids to elderly seniors can get around without fear, where neighborhood streets can be places of congregation and activity instead of motorways. To become that city, we'll have to shift a lot more street space from cars to transit, biking, and walking.