Manhattan Is Closing 7 Miles of Streets This Summer

Jul 26, 2019

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Next month, one of the best places to play in New York City might be, well, the middle of the road.

For three Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of streets (including a long length of Park Avenue) in Manhattan will be totally car-free, as part of the annual Summer Streets celebration. Between 7am and 1pm on Aug. 3, 10 and 17, a stretch from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street, by Central Park, will open only to pedestrians and cyclists.

Instead of bumper-to-bumper traffic and the blare of taxi horns, New Yorkers are invited to play, run, walk and bike down the normally congested route. There will also be a collection of free events along the Summer Streets event path, including a variety of fun activities and diversions (think: doggie pools for hot pups; free rental bikes, live musical performances; and even free food and drink samples).

Five rest stops can be found along the route, where people can engage in the complimentary activities, or simply unwind and meet new people. On the first Saturday, for example, a yoga instructor is attempting to break the Guinness World Records title of most people executing a handstand (the current record is 399 people). And at the Uptown Performance Stage, there will be different musical, theatrical and dance performances every Saturday during the Summer Streets event.

Whether you decide to make a day out of it or just want an unexpected place to get in your morning run, you won’t be the only New Yorker taking advantage of this carless stretch. Last year, 300,000 people partook in the activities, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. So, OK — there will still be a lot of traffic. It will just be healthier and more sustainable.

2019 Event Map; courtesy of Summer Streets

If you haven’t booked a hot flight deal out of town this summer, consider heading to Manhattan and checking out the scene instead.

Featured image courtesy of LightRocket/Getty Images

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