Are you ready to take over the streets? As we mentioned previously, the city's fourth annual Summer Streets initiative (in which nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets are cleared of cars for three consecutive Saturdays) returns this weekend. There won't be another pool, but there will be much merriment! Well, for those on wheels at least.

The Summer Street routes—cars will be banished from the intersection of Chambers Street and Centre Street, up Lafayette, Fourth Avenue and Park Avenue to East 72nd Street—aren't that different from previous years but it won't just be more of the same. There will be a bunch of new activities including a climbing wall and free dance and exercise classes. And if you want to get to the Streets of Manhattan in style from Brooklyn or Queens, no problem! Transportation Alternatives is organizing mass rides to the fun from Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and Queens Plaza in Queens (sign up here).

Of course, not everyone loves the way Manhattan gets during Summer Streets. Last year Kottke complained that

the "Summer Streets initiative is becoming almost unusable by pedestrians. We tried walking on the last Summer Streets weekend, but the cyclists were going way too fast, were routinely weaving in and out of pedestrians, pretty much refused to stay in their lanes, and there were just too many for the width of the street. We bailed out after several blocks. There will likely be even more bikes next year because the word's getting out: it's just too dangerous for walking.


Which is why, if you don't have a bike or rollerblades the city has arranged for free rentals. Don't know how to bike? You probably want to sign up for one of the free adult bike lessons offered by Bike New York.