New York Plans Car-Free Streets
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unveiled a plan to ban cars from various Manhattan streets for three Saturdays this summer. Since Vancouver's recent no-car festivals were such a success, I think New York's "Summer Streets" are a great idea.
Emulating similar experiments in Paris, London, and Bogotá, Colombia, New York City will close off to traffic a 6.9-mile route from the Brooklyn Bridge to East 72nd Street on three consecutive Saturdays, giving New Yorkers to a chance to explore and enjoy “car-free recreation corridors” — well, for six hours a stretch, at least.
Standing on a wide stretch of sidewalk outside the uptown entrance to the No. 6 train station on Astor Place, the mayor said of the program: “There might be some minor disruptions here and there, but I think that those will be far outweighed by the huge benefits that Summer Streets will bring to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.”
He added: “In the end, Summer Streets is an experiment. If it works, we’ll certainly consider doing it again. If not, we won’t. But we have never been afraid to try new ideas, especially the ones that have the potential to improve our quality of life.”
The mayor continued: “We’re really committed to treating our 6,000 miles of streets are more than just travel corridors, but as really vital public places. For many of us, our streets are really our front yards and this new initiative will allow us to enjoy them free of vehicles.”