For the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic, Park Avenue will be going car-free for three Saturdays in August as part of the City’s ‘Summer Streets’ program. This year’s events also extend the festivities along Park Avenue route through the Upper East Side and into East Harlem.
“Our streets belong to all New Yorkers, and I’m so excited to be restoring the Summer Streets program to three full Saturdays and bringing it to East Harlem for the first time,” said Mayor Eric Adams announcing the expansion this week.
“This is exactly what our public space is for: making fun activities accessible to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers for free.”
Summer Streets will be held on three consecutive Saturdays, August 6th, 13th and 20th, with Park Avenue shut down to car traffic from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.
This year, street closures begin at East 109th Street in East Harlem and extend to the Brooklyn Bridge, a whopping 37 block expansion from the previous starting point for the closures, East 72nd Street in Lenox Hill.
“New Yorkers deserve space in densely populated neighborhoods to enjoy the outdoors in their own neighborhoods,” said City Council Member Julie Menin, who represents the Upper East Side.
“The city needs to continue initiatives that reimagine how we use our public streets to provide residents places to enjoy outdoor recreation.”
Now in its 14th year, Summer Streets includes nearly nine miles of roadway only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists— two miles more than previous years.
Along with the extension comes two new rest stops— one each in East Harlem and the Upper East Side. The Soho rest stop has been eliminated.
- Uptown Rest Stop, East 109th Street & Park Avenue
- UES Rest Stop, East 81st Street & Park Avenue (New)
- Midtown Rest Stop, East 51st Street & Park Avenue
- Rose Hill Rest Stop, East 26th-27th Streets & Park Avenue
- Astor Place Rest Stop, Lafayette Street & Astor Place
- Foley Square Rest Stop, Centre Street & Duane Street
The Department of Transportation—which hosts the Summer Streets event— says there will be free art installations, performances and activities for the whole family at each of the six rest stops.
“This great program boosts local businesses, brings our city’s streets alive, and gives New Yorkers fun ways to get outside,” said Council Member Keith Powers, who also represents parts of the Upper East Side.
On the first day of this year’s event, August 6th, Citi Bike is offering free day passes allowing unlimited 30-minute rides on their non-electric bikes by using the code SUMMER 22 in the Citi Bike app.
Roughly 300,000 people participate in the Summer Streets events each year, according to the DOT.