At the latest general meeting of Community Board 10, multiple community members called for Bay Ridge to have Open Streets this summer. Open Streets is a program instituted by the city during the COVID-19 crisis to open up underused roadways to pedestrians and cyclists to help alleviate sidewalk overcrowding and let people enjoy fresh air while maintaining social distancing. With summer approaching and temperatures climbing, it is understandable that our plentiful local parks may become a bit crowded.

But getting an Open Street in Bay Ridge requires community support. Here’s how you can help!

6th Avenue during the COVID-19 lockdown: a possible Open Street location in Bay Ridge | Photo by Daniel Hetteix

What Bay Ridge streets qualify

Open Streets cannot be on roads that are Truck Routes, Emergency Routes, or Bus Routes, which leaves the following major avenues:

StreetStarting AtEnding At
Narrows Ave71st St86th St
Colonial RdWakeman PlMarine Ave
Marine Ave92nd St3rd Ave
Ridge BlvdWakeman PlMarine Ave
6th AveOvington AveFt Hamilton Pkwy

Additionally, most residential streets running east to west qualify as well, as long as it doesn’t have a bus route on it!

An organization needs to sponsor the street

In order for an Open Street to happen, a local community group needs to step up to handle the day-to-day operation. This could be a block association, local trade group, a church group, or really any group of interested Bay Ridge residents. According to StreetsBlog, local groups need to handle:

  • Placing and removing barriers on the street at the start and end of each day
  • Monitoring the street and reporting problems to the DOT
  • Provide access for local vehicles that need the street
  • Post and replenish signage mandating social distancing and slow vehicular travel speeds
  • Regularly message hours, guidelines, etc to local stakeholders and the community.

The city would end up providing barricades, language for the signage, and technical assistance during the Open Street.

Put in a proposal!

If you have a group who would be interested in sponsoring an Open Street in Bay Ridge this summer, be sure to submit your request here! You can also email [email protected].

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