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Summer Streets 2019: Date, time, route, and more

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Park Avenue will once again be given over to pedestrians for three weekends in August

People in colorful T-shirts walk and bike along Park Avenue in New York City, surrounded by buildings, approaching Grand Central Terminal.
New Yorkers bike, walk, and run up Park Avenue near Grand Central Terminal during the annual Summer Streets festival.
Courtesy of the NYC Department of Transportation

The final Summer Streets weekend is here! The annual car-free festival—which takes over seven miles of streets on the first three Saturdays in August—returned for its 12th iteration this year, with the final event happening this Saturday, August 17.

The event began in 2008 and has only grown bigger—in its scope and in the number of people who attend (close to 300,000 in 2018!)—ever since.

The route goes from Foley Square in lower Manhattan up to Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street, with five different rest stops along the way with different outdoorsy activities. (Alas, there won’t be any dumpster pools this year.)

The five stops—located at Foley Square, Spring Street, Astor Place, 25th Street, and 51st Street—will have various activities, including a 165-foot zip line, wheelchair basketball exhibitions, a dog park, fitness classes, bicycle programming (including helmet fittings and free repairs), and more.

This does mean that street closures will be in effect in Manhattan for those three weekends. And it won’t just affect drivers; buses will be re-routed, parking will be restricted, and traffic to and from the Brooklyn Bridge will be diverted.

However, most of the major thoroughfares that cross Park Avenue will remain open to traffic, as will Fifth and Madison avenues. Here’s what you need to know.

What time does Summer Streets begin?

The event starts early, at 7 a.m., and will wrap up by 1 p.m.

What is the route for Summer Streets?

It goes from lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side, with street closures beginning at the Brooklyn Bridge, going up Lafayette Street, and then along Park Avenue from Union Square to the Upper East Side. The DOT has created a map showing the route, along with the event’s five activity-filled rest stops.

A map of the route for Summer Streets, showing street closures and rest stops from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Upper East Side. Courtesy of the Department of Transportation

How to get to Summer Streets

Given the length of the route—7 miles!—there are plenty of options for getting to Summer Streets. If you’re bike-curious, the car-free aspect makes it much easier to test out cycling—and there are plenty of Citi Bike docks along the route. (The bike-sharing system will also have reps at Summer Streets to answer any cycling questions.)

The best subways to use will be the 4, 5, or 6 line—there are myriad stops along the route, which travels up the East Side of Manhattan. Buses may be affected by the street closures, which is something to keep in mind. The route is also near two NYC Ferry stops: 34th Street and Pier 11-Wall Street.

For more detailed info, check out the DOT’s transportation guide for Summer Streets.

What streets will be closed?

Streets start closing at 6:30 a.m. on Summer Streets days, and will reopen by 1:30 p.m., but traffic restrictions begin the night before. The DOT has more information on how that will affect drivers, businesses, and other area residents.

Per the NYPD and DOT, the following Manhattan streets will be closed:

Route

  • Centre Street between Brooklyn Bridge exit and Reade Street
  • Lafayette Street between Reade Street and 10th Street
  • Cooper Square between Astor Place and 4th Avenue
  • 4th Avenue between Astor Place and 15th Street
  • Union Square East between 15th Street and 17th Street
  • Park Avenue South between 17th Street and 32nd Street
  • Park Avenue between 32nd Street and 72nd Street (Including the viaduct between 40th Street and 46th Street)
  • 72nd Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue

Rest Stops

  • Centre Street between Reade Street and Worth Street
  • Cleveland Place between Kenmare Street and Spring Street
  • Kenmare Street between Lafayette Street and Mulberry Street
  • Spring Street between Lafayette Street and Mulberry Street
  • Astor Place between Broadway and 4th Avenue
  • 24th Street between Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue
  • 25th Street between Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue
  • 51st Street between Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue