New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council Committee on Transportation officially announced that New York City will organize its 3rd Car Free Day. The yearly event will take place on Saturday, April 21st in honor of Earth Day.
The goal of Car Free Day is to open streets to people, imagine a city less dependent on vehicles, and encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of eco-friendly transportation alternatives such as public transit, bikes and walking.
“We are lucky to live in such a walkable city filled with history, art, and beautiful views everywhere we go. Car Free Day really gives us the opportunity to take advantage of that and experience it in a very different way. It is in all of our interests to ensure this event is greater every year. Our planet depends on it.” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council Committee on Transportation. “I’m excited to work with Speaker Johnson, the Administration, DOT, advocates and leaders from all sectors in making this year a success.”
“As we work towards a future with lower emissions and improved public transportation, it becomes increasingly clear that reducing the number of cars on our streets is one of the most important factors in this battle,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “For one day each year, we encourage all New Yorkers to go car-free and utilize other methods of transportation – whether it be subway, bus, ferry, or walking, to get where you’re going. I want to thank Council Member Rodriguez and the Department of Transportation in their commitment in getting New Yorkers to go car free this April.”
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“NYC DOT is proud to partner with the City Council’s leadership – including Speaker Corey Johnson and Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez — to bring Car Free Earth Day to Broadway for a third year this April,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Come April 21st, pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy fun programming keeping with the environmentally-minded spirit of Earth Day. The Request for Proposals that DOT is issuing today calls on non-profit organizations, artists, and performers to submit their programming ideas for the five rest stops along Broadway – and so we look forward to a great and exciting day. Especially in the middle of a long and cold winter, today’s announcement makes us excited to announce the great programming that will get New Yorkers out to take back their streets this spring.”
The annual event was established by Council Member Rodriguez and the Department of Transportation in 2016 and has grown every year. Car Free Day will be a yearly event to take place the Saturday before Earth Day thanks to the support of the Speaker’s Office, the Administration and DOT. Last year, the city opened Broadway to pedestrians and cyclists from Union Square to Times Square along with five other sections in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.
Car Free Earth Day will include programming at five rest stops along the Broadway route at Times Square (42nd Street and Broadway), Herald Square (34th Street and Broadway), Garment (39th Street and Broadway), Flatiron (23rd Street and Broadway), and Union Square (17th Street and Broadway). Along with today’s announcement of the official date for Car Free Earth Day this April, DOT is also putting out a Request for Proposals (RFP), inviting nonprofit organizations, artists and performers to submit programming proposals that promote activism and education surrounding climate change and sustainability. Submissions are due by March 16, 2018 and more information can be found here: www.nyc.gov/carfreenyc.
The event has been lucky to count with the support of organizations in the private and non-profit sectors. In 2017, it was named a reason to love New York by New York Magazine.
“I am proud to have partnered with Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez from the very beginning to bring Car Free Day NYC. I look forward to continuing his advocacy this third year and making sure that we advocate and push for policies that take into consideration the needs of our environment. “said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa.
“Car Free Day helps us all envision a future where our mobility is less connected to fossil fuels,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud the Council for organizing this event and their continued partnership in helping deliver a more just, healthy and sustainable NYC.”
“I am proud to represent a city that understands the importance of the environment, and I applaud Councilmember Rodriguez for his role in making Car Free Day an ongoing tradition in New York City. I urge everyone to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Car Free Day and thank Speaker Johnson for highlighting this important initiative,” said Senator Marisol Alcantara.
“I look forward to enjoying Car Free Day once again this year. Car Free Day is a great way to spend time on our streets, while promoting sustainable habits and community togetherness. Thank you to Councilman Rodriguez for his leadership on this event.” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee.
“Citi Bike is thrilled to support this great initiative to get New Yorkers out of their cars and onto more sustainable modes of transit – whether that’s bikes, subways, buses or their own two feet. With over 16 million rides last year and a major expansion into new neighborhoods complete, Citi Bike is more popular than ever and providing a reliable, safe, green, and fun way to get around New York City. We are grateful to Speaker Johnson and CM Ydanis Rodriguez for their leadership.” said Kris Sandor, General Manager of Citi Bike.
“Car Free Day gives New Yorkers a glimpse of what the city could be,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “Kudos to Council Member Rodriguez and Speaker Johnson for continuing to build upon a vision of a more humane, greener and less car-dependent New York City.”
“Car Free NYC is where rubber meets the road on our 80 by 50 greenhouse gas reduction pledge. By leaving your car at home this Earth Day, you’re doing your part to help cut your carbon footprint, while also sending a critical message lawmakers that we need to prioritize walkable, bike-able streets as well as a robust and well-maintained transit network,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “NYLCV is proud to take the Car Free NYC pledge and encourage all New Yorkers to pause and think about how they can make greener transportation choices.”
“Row New York commends Council Member Rodriguez for his work advocating for Car Free Day. We are proud to participate in an event that builds on our mission of educating our kids by teaching them about the importance of sustainability in their own communities,” said Amanda Kraus, Founder and Executive Director of Row New York.