2011-08-12 / Community

Summer Streets Set For August 13 & 20

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner (DOT) Janette Sadik-Khan has reminded New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy nearly seven miles of car-free streets in Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park open to free fun, family-friendly activities and healthy recreation for two Saturdays this month—August 13 and 20—from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as to participate in the nine remaining Weekend Walks taking place citywide over the coming weeks.

This year’s Summer Streets lineup includes several new attractions, including a 25-foot rock climbing wall provided by REI, the first-ever Summer Streets Healthy Food Cook-Off competition, sand sculptures and sand boxes for New Yorkers of all ages to enjoy, in addition to dozens of opportunities to play sports, walk, run, bike and take free exercise and dance classes. The Commissioner offered a preview of the 25-foot rock climbing wall on Fourth Avenue and 9th Street in Manhattan, a few blocks from Spring and Lafayette streets where it will be stationed for Summer Streets all three weekends. A list of Summer Streets activities is available by calling 311.

“Summer Streets gives New Yorkers seven miles of open space for fun and healthy recreation,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Together with Weekend Walks in all five boroughs, the actionpacked streets provide an opportunity to experience the city’s neighborhoods in new ways.”

As part of this year’s signature event in Manhattan, DOT’s safety educators will be distributing free bike helmets and is on track to reach a new safety milestone during Summer Streets: the fitting of the agency’s 50,000th helmet. The Department of Environmental Protection also will provide Water on the Go fountains along the route and free bicycle and rollerblade rentals will be available at select locations. In addition to a range of free activities, DOT also partnered with local artists to make the Summer Streets route more colorful. Through the agency’s Urban Art Program, Animus Arts Collective, a New York-based artist group, installed Flaming Cactus—a series of 14 sculptures composed of brightly colored zipties around lamp posts near Astor Place. The art will be on view through August.

This year’s Summer Streets is made possible through the support of many sponsors, including outdoor gear retailer REI, Chipotle, Women’s Health Magazine, Whole Foods Market, Crunch, Odwalla, GoGo Squeez, Vespa, Sprint and Bicycle Habitat, among others. Media sponsors include Travelocity, New York Post, New York Magazine, SBS (La Mega and Amor), Emmis Radio Group (Hot, RXP, Kiss), SNY, CBS, and El Diario.

Key cross-town streets will remain open to vehicles crossing so participants can enjoy the traffic-free environment and fun, free events. No Parking regulations will be in effect from 11 p.m. beginning the Friday evening before each event until 2 p.m. the day of the event. Street closures will begin at 6 a.m., with streets reopening at 1:30 pm the day of each event.

DOT also continues to partner with community groups in every borough to present Weekend Walks, temporary pedestrian streets that expand the doorsteps to local businesses and cultural institutions while promoting healthy, safe, fun recreation. 18 Weekend Walks were planned for this year with nine remaining, offering activities ranging from music performances to arts and crafts, classes and youth programming in all five boroughs.

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