The first Summer StreetsSaturday took place over the weekend, with the city barring motor vehicles from 6.9 miles of streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to East 72nd Street and Central Park. Cyclists and pedestrians reveled in the car-free oasis as the vehicular traffic was replaced by music, dance, yoga and other exercise classes from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. But some drivers, retailers and garage owners were less enthused. Mark Barbosa, a manager of Manhattan Cabinetry near East 30th Street, tells the Post that his sales "dipped 50 to 60 percent compared to a typical Saturday," due to the auto ban. Food vendors, on the other hand, were raking it in.
The city may make Summer Streets, which continues the next two Saturdays, a regular event if it proves to be a success, according to the Times. But how will officials gauge success when different demographics have such opposing reactions? There was even conflict among the non-drivers filling the streets, with pedestrians complaining about reckless cyclists and residents complaining about the noise. Let us know what you think, and after the jump check out an upbeat video from the Summer Streets, put together by Streetfilms.