NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City's Department of Transportation has announced a new "Trick-or-Streets" initiative that will expand Open Streets hours citywide for the first time on Halloween.
Nearly 100 streets and pedestrian plazas in all five boroughs will be car-free from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.
Officials say this will allow children and their parents to safely enjoy the holiday with more public space.
"Trick or Streets is going to be an incredible night of safe, healthy fun and community bonding for families," said Donovan Richards.
MORE | Trick-or-Streets Map
"As we permanently open the gold standard, Open Street on 34th Avenue, we hope every family and every child has a safe and enjoyable Halloween with special evening Trick-or-Streets across the entire city," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "This program brings together communities and city government to promote safety, community, and fun, and I want to thank all our partners on the ground for their contributions. Happy Halloween, New Yorkers!"
During Monday's press conference, protesters interrupted the announcement to complain about the additional street closures.
The shouting got louder as NYC Councilmember Shekar Krishnan tried to talk about the 16 traffic fatalities in the neighborhood.
The Department of Transportation stood firm that it's time to put pedestrian and cyclist safety over convenience for car owners after 16 members of the community, including six children, died over the last decade due to traffic violence.
"I am talking about people who have lost their lives, I would ask for a modicum of respect," Krishnan said. "There were 16 people, children, seniors, community members."
Krishnan said since Open Streets started on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, there has been a 41.7% drop in crashes and pedestrian injuries.
Officials also cut the ribbon on a new Open Streets plaza in Jackson Heights. They say improvements were made that prioritize the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, who will use the 1.3 mile space.