For three Saturdays in August the Big Apple is temporarily blocking taxis and cars from one if its busiest city streets and is instead welcoming pedestrians to stroll walk bike and run the nearly seven-mile route. The city’s Summer Streets program runs along Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street on August 9 16 and 23 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes city and brand-sponsored rest areas that feature demonstrations artistic performances fitness classes watering stations and bike rental and repair facilities. The city themed each of its main rest stops to bring out the unique character of the local neighborhoods.
At the Health and Fitness stop at 24th Street and Park Avenue Crunch Fitness instructors led free aerobics dance and yoga classes while at a bike station the city provided free bike riding lessons helmet fittings and helmet giveaways. At the Arts and Culture stop on 51st Street Juan Valdez (the coffeemaker not the man) sampled 100 percent Colombian Coffee while salsa and African dance classes took place nearby. At a third Underground rest stop at Spring and Kenmare Streets indie rock performers played while Crunch taught hip-hop and break dancing classes on the street. Several local hotels also provided free bike rentals to its guests.
The Summer Streets events are modeled after other programs in Colombia London Paris and Tokyo that transform traffic lanes into people-friendly recreation zones. In the U.S. Cambridge MA. El Paso TX and soon also Portland OR. and Chicago will have their own versions of the civic events. For New York Summer Streets supports the city’s sustainability initiatives while giving tourists and locals alike new reasons to visit the city’s center.
“This type of program encourages people to get out and get healthy and enjoy car free streets and our city in a whole new way ” New York City Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told Buzz. “Everything about it is green. It’s a sustainable form of transportation. People are out biking and walking and rollerblading and we’re teaching people to ride bikes… We think it’s a win for the city’s economy.” Agency: LeadDog Marketing Group New York City.