SUMMER STREETS TO RETURN
, 9 AND 16
New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has announced the return of Summer Streets, Weekend Walks and extended car-free hours in Central Park.
This year, Summer Streetswill take place on three consecutive Saturdays August 2, 9, and 16 from 7AM to 1PM. Last year, 300,000 people attended this event, which closes Park Avenue and some connecting streets between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. This year’s event will feature an architectural walking tour produced with Culture Now, with timed tours and meet-and-greets with historians at architectural landmarks. There will also be a new tour highlighting historical monuments and contemporary art along the route, and a new sound installation in the Park Avenue tunnel -- “Dive” by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen -- will create eight different immersive soundscapes using recordings from shallow to deep underwater environments in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Canada, USA, Thailand, the Caribbean and areas of the Pacific.
New York City’s signature summertime event will again offer:
- the popular 165-foot-long, 25-foot-high zip line at the Foley Square Rest Stop;
- a 25-foot-tall REI rock climbing wall at the Soho Rest Stop;
- the Whole Foods City Picnic area at the Midtown Rest Stop; and
- “Course of Emotions,” a nine-hole miniature-golf course by artist Risa Puno at the Uptown Rest Stop.
DOT also will provide free bike helmets for adults and children at the Midtown Rest Stop, to encourage safe biking habits. The agency is also hosting a Safety Zone, which features the popular “Truck’s Eye View” and other safety education activities. Children and adults are invited to speak with instructors, climb into a parked truck and gain first-hand knowledge of a truck driver’s view of the roadway. The activity teaches participants to avoid blind spots and give other tips to stay safe on the streets.
Various City agencies participate to make Summer Streets a success. This year, the Department of Parks & Recreation is offering its Shape Up program with free yoga and Pilates classes. The Department of Cultural Affairs’ Materials for the Arts will host arts and crafts workshops. The Department of Sanitation is leading workshops about recycling and composting, while the Department of Environmental Protection’s “Water-On-The-Go” program will be supplying mobile drinking fountains along the route. The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, NYPD and FDNY also support this effort.
DOT is also partnering with 30 community groups to present Weekend Walks citywide. These community-requested temporary pedestrian streets offer local programming that can include everything from dance performances to workshops to arts and crafts. Commissioner Trottenberg also announced the return of extended car-free hours on Central Park’s Drives north of 72nd Street beginning the morning of Friday June 27th , through Labor Day. During this period, the north-south drives will remain open exclusively to pedestrians and bike riders. The Park’s transverse roads will remain open to crosstown traffic, as will the park drives south of 72nd Street according to their current schedules.
(Images from last year's Summer Streets event, by Herbert Suarez for the East Midtown Partnership)
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