NYC Open Streets program slammed by transit advocates for ‘unequal’ implementation

Local News

NEW YORK — The city’s open streets program has created open space for neighborhoods across the city during the pandemic. 

https://www.transalt.org/open-streets-forever-nyc

But a report and survey from Transportation Alternatives says it is not being applied as equitably as it could be. 

“Open Streets are popular, beloved, effective, and lifesaving. But, new research found that the benefits of Open Streets — from reduced traffic violence to accessible public space in the most deprived communities — are lost when subpar infrastructure allows car drivers to dominate that space,” the report states.

The advocacy group said it conducted hundreds of surveys this summer of the designated open street locations listed by the city. 

They counted the miles of designated open streets this summer borough by borough. The Bronx had the smallest number and Manhattan had the largest number. 

The city currently also lists the areas for open streets on the New York City Department of Transportation website. The Bronx has the fewest listed. 

A spokesperson says the advocates don’t have updated information. The city says there are 47 miles currently of designated open streets and city crews actively and frequently check on the status.  

“Equity and fairness have been central to this program from the start, and we are doing outreach to neighborhoods that lack community groups or business improvement districts so they get the support necessary to take part in the program no matter what,” says Seth Stein with NYC DOT. 

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