Back in the spring, the city passed legislation to ensure that the popular Open Streets program, which provides car-free outdoor space to New Yorkers where they live, continues well beyond the pandemic. As part of that legislation, the city committed to improving the way that Open Streets are managed, as well as create more of them in the underserved neighborhoods that need them most. To that end, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Tuesday that free public programming will be coming to some of those neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens this month.

The pop-up programs, which include no-touch play areas for kids, plant giveaways, and musical entertainment, are coming to Astoria, Kingsbridge, South Bronx, and Mott Haven over the four remaining weekends in October. It's being done in partnership with Lyft, who will promote Citi Bike at the various locations and offer riders in these neighborhoods 50% off the cost of an annual membership.

“Open Streets have fundamentally transformed the relationship New Yorkers have with their neighborhoods,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “We’re reclaiming space from cars while promoting educational and cultural activities and helping our neighbors embrace the bike boom in our city."

Local politicians, including Bronx Borough President Reuben Diaz Jr, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Robert Jackson, and Congressman Adriano Espaillat, praised the programming and the city's continued efforts to expand and improve Open Streets for everyone.

"Bike safety is critical, by providing informative educational workshops I hope that we’ll be able to give riders the confidence they need to continue riding their bikes more often, “ said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He added that he would work toward continuing to bring these kinds of cultural and educational programs to other neighborhoods.

Check out the full list of programs below.

OCTOBER OPEN STREETS PROGRAMMING:

  • Friday 10/8 from 2-5 p.m.: Alexander Avenue Open Street in Mott Haven featuring Street Lab pop-up learning environments, including Play a no touch obstacle course, and Street Maker, a drawing environment that uses chalk and other mediums.
  • Saturday 10/9 from 2-5 p.m.: Alexander Avenue Open Street featuring a plant giveaway by The Horticultural Society of New York
  • Friday 10/15 from 5-8 p.m.: Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria featuring Street Lab pop-up learning environments, including Play, a no touch obstacle course, and Street Maker, a drawing environment that uses chalk and other mediums.
  • Saturday 10/16 from 5-8 p.m.: Ditmars Boulevard featuring Variety Arts entertainment by the Bindlestaff Family Cirkus
  • Friday 10/22 from 2-5 p.m.: Willis Avenue Open Street in the South Bronx featuring Street Lab pop-up learning environments, including Play, a no touch obstacle course, and Street Maker, a drawing environment that uses chalk and other mediums
  • Saturday 10/23 from 2-5 p.m.: Willis Avenue Open Street featuring a plant giveaway by The Horticultural Society of New York
  • Friday 10/29 from 2-5 p.m.: Tibett Avenue Open Street in Kingsbridge featuring Street Lab pop-up learning environments, including Play, a no touch obstacle course, and Street Maker, a drawing environment that uses chalk and other mediums
  • Saturday 10/30 from 2-5 p.m.: Tibett Avenue featuring a plant giveaway by The Horticultural Society of New York, and Variety Arts entertainment by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

The Open Streets program was announced in April 2020 as a way to give pandemic-beleaguered New Yorkers more space to roam outdoors at a time when people were being asked to socially distance or stay indoors. There are now over 350 blocks, and over 70 miles, of fully or partial Open Streets in the city—you can check out all the locations and hours of operation here.

The program has also spawned several complimentary spin-off initiatives, including Open Restaurants, Open Culture and Open Boulevards.