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34th Avenue Open Street

SEE IT: 500 People Enjoying the 34th Avenue Open Street in Just 30 Minutes

9:10 AM EDT on August 4, 2021

From 6 to 6:30 p.m., 500 people used the 34th Avenue open street. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

And the guy in purple running laps was only counted once!

Check out our Streetfilms colleague Clarence Eckerson's latest mini-documentary showing the overwhelming popularity of the 34th Avenue open street in his native Jackson Heights: within just one-half hour on Monday night, Eckerson counted 500 people using what the city calls its "gold standard" open street — and that's not counting people enjoying the car-free space from the sidewalk, merely crossing the blissfully safe roadway, or showing up on camera because they are jogging laps.

Eckerson's latest "count" video follows his seminal work on Second Avenue and Kent Avenue — and like those earlier videos, shows that the city needs to do more to make sure the public has the public space it needs. The Department of Transportation is supposed to return to Queens Community Board 3 this fall to present a vision for what Commissioner Hank Gutman once called a "sterling example" of great public space; Eckerson's film reminds everyone (including open space opponent Gloria Contreras) that Mayor de Blasio has created something beloved by thousands of residents who don't have private gardens, vacation homes or spacious apartments — something that should be cherished, not destroyed.

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