NYC’s Summer Streets: Not Just for Spandex Wearing Hippies

(editor’s note: The idea of opening streets to bicyclists and pedestrians by closing them to vehicular traffic for temporary car-free parties has become such a mainstream idea in places such as New York and San Francisco that even Fox News is joining in on the fun.  Head’s up Mayor Villaraigosa!  Below is NYC Streetsblog’s Brad Aaron’s coverage of the coverage is below.)

How much of a non-event was this year’s Summer Streets in terms of media critique? In this Fox News piece, via Crooks and Liars,
the story isn’t traffic tie-ups or wacky spandex-clad elitists or
howling business owners, but the fact that more everyday New Yorkers
are taking to the streets on two wheels. Summer Streets, it seems, has
become a mainstream event in just its second year. Reported the Downtown Express at the beginning of August:

thought last year it was going to cause havoc in the community," said
John Fratta, chairperson of Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center
Committee. "For the most part I was pretty pleased. It was a nice
event." He said he supports the event this year.

The Fox segment does refer to the questionable Hunter College study on unsafe cyclist behavior (without acknowledging more revealing data on the causes of bike-car collisions),
and there’s a completely unsupported ticker squib that attributes
complaints over spending on bike infrastructure to unnamed "critics."
But these feel like token attempts to "balance" an otherwise positive

Who knows, maybe in a year or two even Steve Cuozzo will have to re-read his old columns to remember what he hated so much about car-free Times Square.


The Wilbur Avenue Road Diet Controversy Goes Mainstream

Let the backlash against sustainable transportation practices begin! Throughout the summer Streetsblog has reported on the Road Diet the LADOT has placed on Wilbur Avenue in the Valley community of Northridge and the backlash the Diet has caused.  City Councilman Greig Smith was so incensed that the Diet was placed without community input that he’s […]

Will L.A. Have Its Ciclovia? Signs Are Pointing to Yes

Imagine Wilshire Boulevard without cars. Rendering: CicLAvia For months, a hard-core group of volunteers have been working on a shoe-string budget to bring a series of car-free festivals to Los Angeles based on the weekly Ciclovias of Bogota, Colombia.  Thanks to a series of high profile news stories in the Times and ABC News highlighting […]

When Are Open Streets Events Really Open Streets Events?

This weekend, urban walkers, cyclists, and families can gear up for two first-time open streets events: Tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, the city of Burbank hosts CiclaBurbank, billed as “a local Open-Streets event on the Burbank On Parade route while it’s still closed to motorized traffic.” The event takes place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on […]