“Open Streets” Come to the Lower East Side to Promote Responsible Social Distancing

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The Lower East Side became part of the city’s “Open Streets” COVID-19 initiative this week. Beginning on Thursday, several blocks above Delancey Street were made available exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon. They are:

  • Ludlow Street between Delancey and Houston streets
  • Orchard Street between Delancey and Houston streets
  • Rivington Street between Allen and Essex streets
  • Stanton street between Allen and Essex streets

There are now about 9 miles of “open streets” across New York City. The mayor has promised to add more neighborhoods, eventually creating 100 miles of open recreational space while social distancing rules remain in effect. Most of the existing open streets are managed by BIDS, business improvement districts. That’s the case on the Lower East Side, where the Lower East Side Partnership is helping to facilitate  the program.

Streetsblog has been raising some questions about the city’s management of the program and why business groups are involved in its execution. You can read more about that here.