New York City’s Open Streets program, which allowed restaurants and local businesses to expand outdoor dining and storefronts on sidewalks and along streets, will be continuing permanently, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at his press conference on Thursday.
“Last year, New York City seized an unprecedented crisis to totally reimagine our city streets. Open Streets was a runaway success – and now, I’m proud to deliver the framework we need to make it permanent,” said de Blasio. “With better signage, new barriers, and more support for community partners, this program will be sustainable for the long term.”
Businesses can apply online to take part in the program, which will designate certain streets for pedestrians and cyclists only and allow businesses to use portions of the road, as well as for community programs to take place.
“We are building off the success to make it better and stronger for next year, so that New Yorkers can gather safely, support their local businesses and restaurants safely, as this city and the nation recovers from the pandemic,” said Hank Gutman, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation.
New DOT guidelines for the program will include metal barriers instead of wooden ones, more safety signs, and promises of more, not yet outlined, “resources” for those who take part in the program.