At the beginning of May, Mayor Di Blasio and all of the NYC Bids, as a response to the Covid 19 pandemic, created Open Streets. According to Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services says “open streets is an example of how resilient New Yorkers and the business community can work together in challenging times”. Assembly member Joanne Simon has said “this crisis has highlighted our need to distribute street space more equitably”.
Open Streets have allowed restaurants to take a few extra feet into the road for tables as well as drawing neighbors to the newly car free areas.
Park Slope's 5th Avenue BID is the sponsor of Open Streets on the blocks located between Dean Street and Park Place. In Sunset Park on 5th Avenue the open restaurant streets stretch from 40th to 41st Street and from 45th to 47th Street. In Dumbo Old Fulton Street from Water to Front Street is part of this program. In Red Hook Reed Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets is part of this program. In Prospect Heights, there is one of the largest stretches of open space in the program on Vanderbilt Avenue between Pacific Street and Park Place.
The Open Restaurants program, an extension of the Open Streets program, as of September had enrolled more than 10,300 restaurants since June 2020. This program has allowed restaurants to expand seating to the frontage of adjacent properties as long as the adjacent property owners formally agree to the use of the space for a specified period of time.
According to Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin “the program has helped save tens of thousands of jobs and has been an essential lifeline to an industry that has faced enormous hardships during this pandemic”.
Vicky Been Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development says “restaurants are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods and will allow our streets to pulse with energy into the cooler season, keep people working, boost everyone's spirits and help drive our economic recovery”.
Open Restaurants is helping to revitalize neighborhoods and the economy, puts the health & safety of New Yorkers first and creates an even more walkable city.
Outdoor dining has been a tremendous success for the city, however there will be several open street closures during the December, January and February months and a reopen of these street in the Spring 2020. The street closures will include Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights and 45th to 47th Streets in Sunset Park.
To be continued...
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