New Yorkers come out for city’s largest Open Streets event


Earth Day is Monday and the city celebrated with its largest Open Streets event yet.

“I love these days when New York City comes together,” Rachel Rosenblatt said.

Streets throughout the city went car-free Saturday, including 30 blocks of Broadway from Times Square to Union Square. Their closure to motor vehicles allowed pedestrians, cyclists, runners and skateboarders more room to move.


What You Need To Know

  • Saturday’s car-free streets allowed pedestrians, cyclists, runners and skateboarders more room to move
  • The annual Earth Day celebration is put on by the Department of Transportation to promote climate change activism and living a sustainable, green lifestyle
  • Some New Yorkers said Open Streets is a reminder about how their everyday actions play a part in the collective effort to combat climate change

The event also gave a chance for New Yorkers to lower their carbon footprint.

“It just shows how vibrant the city streets can get when people are allowed to enjoy the space as opposed to just having it being taken up by cars most of the time,” Shaunak Tulshibagwale, who was on a skateboard, said.

“It’s a good opportunity to take use of open roads and not have to deal with cars,” Vivek Kapur, another skateborder, said.

“New Yorkers are really great at keeping the environment protected and safe, so I think that it presents this opportunity for everyone to be more of an advocate,” Cooper Chou said.

The annual event in honor of Earth Day is put on by the Department of Transportation. They said their goal is to promote climate change activism and living a sustainable, green lifestyle.

“It’s not enough to say we care for equity [but] live in a community where a few miles from you, a child doesn’t have the same environmental justice,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said. “We are again in the best time in New York City, where we are looking not only at the present but also the future.”

Mayor Eric Adams and other elected officials set an example by riding their bikes up Broadway. More than 50 streets in all five boroughs were car-free from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Some New Yorkers said Earth Day is a reminder about how their everyday actions play a part in the collective effort to combat climate change.

“If you can do your part to try to help that, I would say, please do, because you live here, your kids are gonna live here, your grandparents grew up here. A lot of your history is here. I think you should care about that,” Brianna Smith said.

When it comes to the effects of climate change, like warming temperatures, some believe a small step can bring about greater change.

“Days like this really help promote that it’s so easy to get around. You can just take whatever mode of transportation that helps protect the environment,” Chhavi Singal, who was there on rollerblades, said.

Saturday’s car-free event kicks off the Open Streets season, which takes place on select Saturdays throughout the city all summer.



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