New York City previews Earth Day celebrations with car-free open streets, free Citi bike rides

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Sunday, April 21, 2024
Car-free, open streets in Manhattan preview Earth Day celebrations
Open streets across New York City went car-free on Saturday as a preview for Earth Day celebrations.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's not every day you can walk down city streets car-free, but people were able to do exactly that as a preview to Earth Day.

People took to the streets on Saturday as the New York City Department of Transportation kicked off and celebrated its annual "Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day" event.

ABC 7 New York is a proud sponsor of NYCDOT's event, which seeks to promote activism and education on important issues impacting the world, including climate change, environmentalism and sustainable modes of transportation.

This year's event featured activities like public art and performances across all five boroughs, with seven signature car-free streets in addition to 46 community-organized locations taking part in Saturday's event

One highlight of the day was a special bike ride from Chelsea to Times Square.

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other New Yorkers on the bike ride along a car-free section of Broadway in Manhattan.

In celebration of the event, Citi Bike also offered free, unlimited 30-minute rides on its classic bike.

The transportation commissioner says taking action that improves air quality is really about equity.

"It's not enough to say that we care for equity, and live in a community where a few miles from where you live, a child doesn't have the same environmental justice," Rodriguez said.

In Times Square, people were treated to the third annual "Broadway Celebrates Earth Day Concert."

Hosted by the Broadway Green Alliance and Times Square Alliance, the concert featured performances by some of Broadway's top, young stars and interviews with environmental thought-leaders.

Car-Free Earth Day began in 2016 as a way to convert streets in Manhattan into public use for pedestrians, cyclists and local businesses. Since then, the event has expanded to many locations throughout the entire city, connecting open streets, plazas and over 1,000 miles of bike lanes.

ALSO READ | NYPD cracks down on illegal street vendor hotspot in Jackson Heights

Darla Miles has the story from Jackson Heights.


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