Eyes on the Street: NYC’s Car-Free Streets Season Gets Started

The scene on Bedford Avenue at North 7th Street this weekend during the Williamsburg Walks car-free event. Photo: Stephen Miller

On Saturday, ten blocks of the Bedford Avenue retail strip were closed to cars and open to people for Williamsburg Walks, one of the first neighborhood car-free events to partner with DOT’s Weekend Walks program. The street was full of people enjoying the sunny weather — at chairs and tables, listening to live music, playing games, lounging on grass, and stopping in at shops and restaurants along the way.

The year’s third and final Williamsburg Walks is scheduled for this Saturday. The calendar for DOT’s Weekend Walks website lists 23 streets in all five boroughs with car-free streets on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays this summer — up from 18 three years ago.

New Yorkers craving something bigger than just their own neighborhood event are looking forward to the sixth annual Summer Streets, which converts Park Avenue and Lafayette Street from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park at 72nd Street into a car-free zone. Summer Streets takes place during three consecutive Saturdays in August. DOT has not yet announced this year’s dates.