MANHATTAN – After a one year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the City’s popular annual Summer Streets event is back for 2021— closing seven miles of city roads to cars so pedestrians and cyclists can ride, play, run and walk between Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, starting on the Upper East Side.
For two consecutive Saturdays, August 7th and 14th from 7am to 1pm, part of Park Avenue will be shut down to car traffic. The official route shows the street closures begin at 72nd Street in Lenox Hill.
According to 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 five Rest Stops along this year’s route.
- Uptown Rest Stop: 51st Street and Park Avenue
- Midtown Rest Stop: 25th Street and Park Avenue
- Astor Place Rest Stop: Astor Place and Lafayette Street
- Soho Rest Stop: Spring Street and Lafayette Street
- Foley Square Rest Stop: Duane Street and Centre Street
On social media, many New Yorkers applauded the return of Summer Streets, announced last week– but some questioned the narrow, six-hour street closure.
“The whole thing is over by 1pm? Such a wasted opportunity,” Nate writes on Twitter.
Seth raised the same question “What about people who work during the day?” he asked. “They don’t deserve summer streets?”
What about people who work during the day? They don’t deserve summer streets?— Seth (@justatrainguy) July 2, 2021
The event has also been reduced from three Saturdays in previous years to just two days this year.
The Department of Transportation has held the Summer Streets event since 2008 and drew nearly 300,000 New Yorkers the last time it was held in 2019, according to the DOT.