Business Improvement Districts will manage Open Streets in four boroughs, where streets will be open each day to pedestrians and cyclists — with limited vehicle traffic —starting Thursday
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that two more miles of streets will be opened to pedestrians and cyclists, adding to the seven miles of car-free streets opened ahead of schedule last weekend. Starting tomorrow, May 7, over 1.5 miles of streets in three boroughs will be managed by Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) as part of the Open Streets initiative designed to provide greater social distancing among New Yorkers. Open Streets will also return to 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, which had been part of a pilot last month.
“As the weather gets warmer, New Yorkers will need options to safely enjoy the sunshine– and we’re excited to give them even more options to do so,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We thank our partners at local BIDs, which play an essential role in making commercial areas safe places to social distance. We want New Yorkers to enjoy these streets and continue all best practices to stay safe from COVID-19.”
"I applaud all of the BIDs who are stepping up in this crisis and working with the City on creating these Open Streets for New Yorkers to practice safe social distancing," said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. "Last weekend our City partners sprang into action with the first wave of these Open Streets and initial reports have been encouraging. As we continue to roll out additional Open Streets we need to New Yorkers to continue to be vigilant about social distancing and utilize these streets to do so."
Last week, the Mayor and the Council announced that 40 miles of streets citywide would be opened during May to allow greater social distancing, with a plan to expand to a total of 100 miles to be identified in the weeks and months ahead. The hours of operation for these streets vary.
10a-6p 7 days
8a-4p weekdays 9a-5p weekend
8a-12p 7 days
Downtown BK Partnership
3rd Ave BID
The Mayor also announced the return of Open Streets to 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. The street had been part of an initial open streets pilot program last month. Open Streets will be in operation there from 8 am through 8 pm, also starting tomorrow.
Under Open Streets, pedestrians and cyclists can use the roadbed of the street. No through traffic is permitted, with remaining vehicle traffic limited to local deliveries, pick-ups/drop-offs, necessary city service, utility, and emergency vehicles only. Such drivers are alerted to be hyper-vigilant and to drive at 5 MPH along these routes.
Organizations wishing to have other New York City streets considered for the Open Streets program should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out an online survey.
“We want to thank so many of our City’s great BIDs from Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn to the Bronx, for their leadership as we unveil this next group of Open Streets for pedestrians and cyclists,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The BIDs have stepped up in this crisis, and we are so grateful for their partnership. But we now ask other BIDs, community boards, and local organizations to also identify more miles of streets and help us make them a successful part of this growing initiative.”
“Open Streets is a great example of how resilient New Yorkers and the business community can be in challenging times. This step helps us safely navigate and enjoy the City as we continue adjusting to unprecedented times,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “I am proud of our BID network for stepping up to keep our commercial corridors vibrant.”
“Having access to more open streets gives pedestrians the opportunity to be socially distant from each other while enjoying the outdoors as the weather improves,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank the Mayor and Commissioner Trottenberg for embracing our call, together with my colleagues in the City Council, to rely on local neighborhood groups, such as Business Improvement Districts, to help expand pedestrian space for New Yorkers. I look forward to further announcements of additional expansions, including hopefully the rest of the portion of Broadway between Times Square and Chinatown that I initially called for."