NYC Open Streets becoming permanent, Open Boulevards launching

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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Raw Video: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that Open Streets will become permanent and rolls out Open Boulevards program.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City's Open Streets will become a standard part of city life Thursday when Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation making the program permanent.

Open Streets started in Spring 2020. NYC was the epicenter of the pandemic, and the city opened up 100 of NYC's 6,000 miles of streets for exclusively for pedestrians.

The idea was to create more space for people to walk around while maintaining social distancing, which was proving to be a challenge on tight sidewalks.

The program has since expanded to include more blocks across the city.

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And now, de Blasio announced Wednesday, the program is expanding again.

Open Boulevards will feature multiple blocks in a row blocked off to vehicles and filled with restaurants, performances and other activities.

The new program will start with ten boulevards opening on a rolling basis across all five boroughs.

"In a year of dramatic changes to our urban landscape, Open Boulevards will transform New York City's streets like never before," said de Blasio.

The city will work with NYC & Company to promote Open Boulevards and drive citywide, regional, and international tourist activity to each location in the five boroughs.

The announcements continue Streets Week!, a suite of transportation, traffic safety, and open space policy announcements to double down on the transformative Vision Zero initiative.

In addition, the city plans to mark Open Boulevards with branded light pole banners and gateways at entrances and public tables and chairs.

Restaurants on Open Boulevards will receive free barriers at select giveaway events, to ensure safety for roadway diners and pedestrians.

Here is a list of the first ten Open Boulevards scheduled to open:

Bronx

*Alexander Avenue (Bruckner Blvd - East 134th St)

*Arthur Avenue (East 187th St - Crescent Ave)

Brooklyn

*5th Avenue in Park Slope (various)

*5th Avenue in Sunset Park (various)

Manhattan

*Amsterdam Avenue (106th St - 110th St)

*Columbus Avenue (106th St - 110th St)

Queens

*Ditmars Blvd (33rd St - 36th St)

*Woodside Ave (76th St - 78th St)

Staten Island

*Minthrone Street (Victory Blvd - Bay St)

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