Why Is Summer Streets So Rare?

The forecast for Saturday is bleak — 100 percent chance of rain, lasting just about all day. Tomorrow also happens to be the first Summer Streets event of 2014 (as well as the first during the de Blasio mayoralty). Good thing the main attraction is in a tunnel.

But since there are only two other Summer Streets on the calendar this year, this question is highly relevant:

Since Summer Streets began in 2008, the main obstacle to running it more frequently has reportedly been the pricetag. It shouldn’t cost much just to keep cars off Park Avenue and Lafayette Street, but the heavy NYPD presence adds up. If the traffic was managed by fewer cops — and sources familiar with the event have said this is entirely doable — Summer Streets could happen more often.

Until then, one consolation is that there are several smaller car-free street events around the city each summer. Sunday’s forecast is looking more promising than Saturday’s, and parts of the Grand Concourse, 204th Street in the Bronx, and Astoria’s Shore Boulevard will be open to people and free from traffic.