The COVID Crisis: The City Extends Open Streets Program To Selected Area Of Harlem

Cars will be banned from three Harlem streets this week as the city Department of Transportation works to open dozens of miles of streets to pedestrians to aid with social distancing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.

Portions of West 114th Street, East 115th Street, and Edgecomb Avenue will be included in the open streets program through partnerships with local business groups, police precincts and the Parks Department, the Mayor said Wednesday. This week’s closures will put the city at a total of 21 miles of closed streets.

“Now that warmer weather has arrived, New Yorkers will need more options to enjoy the outdoors at a safe, social distance,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re grateful to all our local partners, and we believe new bike lanes will lay the groundwork for a cycling surge in the months and years to come.”

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The city will work with local organization Concrete Safaris to close East 115th Street between Park Avenue and Third Avenue each weekday from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to city officials. The two-block stretch will be the only open street located in East Harlem.

Street closures in Central Harlem will be enforced on a permanent basis by the NYPD and city government. The open street on West 115th Street will extend just one block from Manhattan Avenue to Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

The largest open street in Harlem will be located on Edgecomb Avenue adjacent to Jackie Robinson Park. The city will be closing half-a-mile of the street between St. Nicholas Place and West 145th Street.

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