Why ‘Open Streets’ in New York City Were Reduced by 63 Miles

New York, however, made the open streets program everlasting final 12 months after a handful of breakout successes, together with thirty fourth Avenue in Queens, Vanderbilt Avenue and Berry Road in Brooklyn, and Dyckman Road in Manhattan, a results of the tireless efforts of residents, group teams, companies and transportation and open area advocates. However many different open streets have struggled, been scaled again or have been scratched fully.

A well-liked Italian-style piazza on Arthur Avenue within the Bronx went from three blocks in 2020 to at least one block this Might, in order that 90 curbside parking spots may very well be freed up. “People drive to us,” mentioned Peter Madonia, the chairman of the Belmont Enterprise Enchancment District, which tries to steadiness the open avenue with the wants of companies and clients. “We still have a piazza, it’s just smaller.”

In Jackson Heights, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the open streets have drawn a backlash from some residents who say they make it tougher to drive, discover parking and get deliveries. Additionally they create gridlock on surrounding streets, residents say. Greenpoint drivers basically took again two open streets on Driggs Avenue and Russell Road after metallic obstacles had been vandalized, run over and dumped into Newcity Creek.

“The more open streets there are, the harder it is for drivers to navigate,” mentioned Assemblyman David I. Weprin, a Queens Democrat, who has acquired complaints about this system. “There are still parts of New York City where people rely on their cars, and it’s becoming increasingly anti-car in the city.”

Others argue that with site visitors deaths surging, open streets make navigating town safer for pedestrians and cyclists. They’ll additionally deliver well being and environmental advantages, particularly to poor neighborhoods with few parks.

“Cars remain king,” mentioned Danny Harris, the manager director of Transportation Alternate options, an advocacy group which reported on the inequitable distribution of open streets. “We need more open streets, not less, to support New Yorkers and our recovery.”