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Summer Streets

Thursday’s Headlines: Support Summer Streets Edition

More more more — how do you like it, how do you like it, how do you like your Summer Streets? Plus other news.

12:01 AM EDT on August 24, 2023

MTA / Scott Lynch|

More more more — how do you like it, how do you like it, how do you like your Summer Streets?

Everyone has been loving the Department of Transportation's expanded Summer Streets program. Not only were the now-completed Manhattan Saturdays extended to Harlem this year, but the DOT added a Summer Street day in Queens and Staten Island (you missed it; it was on July 29), and added this Saturday's car-free idyll in Brooklyn and The Bronx.

So instead of just 18 hours of Summer Streets in Manhattan, the city got six more car-free hours in each of four new locations.

But why stop there? The best and easiest change for next year would be extending the hours so that the fun doesn't end at 1 p.m. just as it's getting going. After that, we can talk about connecting the long Manhattan strip to the other boroughs so that Summer Streets can truly connect the city with a network of car-free streets. And then we can demand that Summer Streets be expanded from just five summer Saturdays to literally every summer weekend. Set it up on Friday afternoon and let it run uninterrupted until Sunday night.

But that's just me talking (and who the hell am I to tell DOT what to do?). It's time for you to step up and make your voice heard. Our friends at livable streets leaders Open Plans (full disclosure, we share a corporate parent) are overseeing a letter-writing campaign to encourage the public to let DOT know what it wants from Summer Streets. Click here for the Open Plans form letter, which you can tailor any way you wish (see examples above).

Let DOT know how you feel about acres and acres of safe and car-, pollution- and congestion-free recreation space.

For now, here's today's news digest:

  • First, here's a good reason to stop traffic:
  • Like Streetsblog, amNY was all over the DOT's announcement of a double-width bike lane on 10th Avenue.
  • The Financial Times used congestion pricing as a jumping off point on a superficial, though enjoyable, take on our epic New York vs. New Jersey battles.
  • Bad vibes: The crazed driver who tried to kill pedestrians in Herald Square was booked on multiple charges ... and made an odd sartorial choice. (NY Post, NYDN)
  • Oh, the driver said, it was just an "accident" that killed the 88-year-old man. Yeah, right. (NYDN)
  • Meanwhile, road rage leads to another death in The Bronx. (NYDN)
  • You gotta read Rachel Weinberger's op-ed on curb management. (amNY)
  • The Post rounded up all the carnage in Long Island recently ... and it's a lot. Who said the suburbs were a great place to raise kids?
  • Here comes mandatory composting! (NY Times)
  • And don't forget mandatory sealed garbage bins! (amNY)
  • It's not only the subways: Two-thirds of New York City schools aren't accessible. (NYDN)
  • And, finally, from the cinematic maestros who gave you "The McGuinness Compromise" comes ... "Crashland!"

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