Latest slate of open streets includes 10 Brooklyn neighborhoods

open streets
The Open Street on Prospect Park W. in May 2020.
File photo by Todd Maisel

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new slate of open streets Friday, surpassing his goal of 40 mostly car-less miles across the city throughout the month of May.

In Brooklyn, roughly five miles were announced — the majority of which are in the borough’s northern flank. However, the program — meant to limit through-traffic and allow pedestrians and cyclists more space to social distance — is slowly seeping into southern Brooklyn, which had been left out of earlier announcements.

“New Yorkers deserve space to safely enjoy the outdoors in their own neighborhoods,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Thanks to hard work from a host of City agencies, we’ve beaten our Open Streets goal for this month.” 

Hizzoner said Friday that, beginning Memorial Day Weekend, 0.11 miles will open in Homecrest on 16th Street between Avenue R and Moore Place, and on Moore Place between 16th and 17th Streets. Bay Ridge will also see its first open streets, with 0.16 miles on Colonial Road from 86th to 83rd Street.

The longest new stretch in Brooklyn is on State Street, which will open to pedestrians for a half-mile span between Third Avenue and Smith Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Nearby in Fort Greene, Willoughby Avenue will open for 0.41 miles between Washington Park Street and Hall Street. Brooklyn Heights will receive 0.33 new miles on Willow Street between Middagh Pierrepont Streets. 

Bedford-Stuyvesant will get its first 0.58 mile of open streets, with 0.11 miles on Somers Street between Rockaway Avenue and Fulton Street, 0.40 miles on Macon Street from Arlington Place to Tompkins Avenue, and a 0.07-mile sliver on Arlington Street between Macon and Fulton Streets. The tiny stretch will be operated by the Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business Improvement District and will only be open on Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. 

In Red Hook, the Red Hook initiative will oversee a 0.08 mile stretch on Ninth Street between Henry and Hicks Streets that will only be operational on Saturdays from 10 am to 6pm. 

Brownsville will also receive its first open street, on Williams Avenue between Liberty and Atlantic Avenues. 

Crown Heights and Prospect Heights will see Park Place between New York Avenue and Kingston Avenue open to pedestrians for 0.29 miles, Troy Avenue from St. Johns Place to Eastern Parkway open for 0.10 miles, Underhill Avenue from St. Johns Place to Bergen Street for 0.32 miles, and Carlton Avenue from Park Place to Bergen Street for 0.18 miles. 

Williamsburg will see 0.33 new miles, on South Ninth Street from Berry Street to Driggs Avenue, and on Grand Street from Roebling Street to Marcy Avenue. 

Two new streets for Park Slope and Kensington were also announced — one Chester Avenue between Ft. Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue for 0.32 miles in Kensington, and one block in Park Slope, on Butler Place which turns on to Gregory Place between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. 

Streets managed by local police precincts are open 8 am to 8 pm daily, with access only for local traffic and deliveries. Streets managed by local community groups have varying hours of operation. 

This week’s additions give New York the city the largest open streets program in the country. However, the program has received criticism from transportation advocates for opening streets in neighborhoods less affected by the pandemic as opposed to harder hit areas. The zip code with the highest death rate in the city — Starrett City — still has no open streets.   

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