Honking taxis were nowhere to be found on Park Avenue this morning. Nor were delivery trucks or town cars. Much in evidence, though, were bikers, runners, bladers, skateboarders, walkers and even members of the so-called Kangoo Nation (wearers of a very cool jumping shoe). As part of the city's Summer Streets program, today was the third and final August Saturday where, from East 72nd Street down Park Avenue and all the way past Union Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, closures gave active New Yorkers a rare glimpse of the cityscape from the middle of our roadways.
I had the opportunity to run a full loop--from the Upper East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge and back, and was duly impressed by the courtesy extended between cyclists and runners, most of whom shared the streets graciously and without incident. Along the way, my fellow outdoor adventurers and I enjoyed music, giveaways and even stretching classes.
Of course, August being a huge month for vacations, traffic in the city was lighter than normal anyway. But still, how nice would it be if New York streets could be car-less for one Saturday every month? When that petition is drafted, count me in. Until then, all I can do is mark my calendar for Summer Streets 2012. (And who knows....I might even try it wearing a pair of Kangoos.) —THOMAS P. FARLEY
Photo courtesy of @inspiredcyclist