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It’s a cool morning, the first in a long time, and the frayed leaves are starting to look less lush, but there’s still time to think about Summer Streets, New York City’s program to create a temporary 6.9 mile car-free route to encourage bicycling in the city.

Picnics, pools, and a car-free Park Avenue are part of a flexible way to use the City's infrastructure

Free bike rentals and repairs, free skate rental, rest stops, maps, and yes–you can cool off in a dumpster pool!–remove barriers and excuses.

I like the idea of temporarily rethinking the city. Trying out parks and bike routes is not only a physical test of infrastructure, but a test of how we function as individuals in our environment. Certain things are hard–biking, recycling, walking–not because they are inherently difficult, but because the infrastructure isn’t set up to support them.

4 Responses to “Summer Streets”

  1. Jerry A. McCoy

    This is such a wonderful idea. DC could never do this. Oh sure, WABA sponsors similar events but they charge fees for riding on public streets, which I have always found counter productive to encouraging bicycling.

  2. claudia

    Is Beech Drive through Rock Creek Park still set aside for weekend bikers? That’s a start, though it’s kind of hidden. I think part of the impact is seeing a car space turned into a people space.

    It would be challenging, but spectacular to see a lane of Wisconsin Avenue from downtown to Rockville turned over for a bike day.

    And it speaks to the benefits of a grdi street system–there’s always a nearby alternative route!

  3. Jerry A. McCoy


    6. When are Beach Drive and other Park roads closed?
    Sections of Beach Drive from Broad Branch Road to Military Road and from picnic grove 10 to Wise Road and from West Beach Drive to the DC line are closed on Saturdays, Sundays (7:00 AM Saturday-7:00 PM Sunday), and holidays for bikers, roller bladers, hikers and joggers (On the map they are marked in faint yellow). In addition, Bingham Drive and Sherill Drive are also closed weekends and federal holidays.