The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the New York City Department of Transportation just announced that the popular Open Streets Program has returned to the neighborhood for its opening weekend and Earth Day celebrations!
Similar to other areas in the past from Broadway to the Meatpacking District, Vanderbilt Avenue is car-free on weekends from Atlantic Avenue to Park Place.
Since New Yorkers grew so fond of traffic-free weekends, Open Streets returned to Vanderbilt Avenue in 2021. 2021’s return brought additional space, more bike lanes, new barriers and even a schedule for arts and culture events.
This season, Vanderbilt Avenue is once again car-free to give residents the space to gather, eat, drink, and play, and programming is kicking off for Earth Day weekend programming with tons of exciting events like a community cleanup, Central African Drum & Dance, chalk drawing, and more.
The program provides “a sense of community and social togetherness in a time of forced solitude,” shared one resident.
See schedule below:
Friday, April 21
- The Brass Queens helps kick off the spring, marching south on Vanderbilt Avenue
Saturday, April 22
Underhill Plaza – Underhill Avenue @ Pacific
- Community Cleanup
- Music from eGALitarian Brass
- The Blue Bus Project
- Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre
Vanderbilt Open Street – All Earth Day activities between St. Marks & Bergen
- Central African Drum & Dance by Brooklyn Music School
- All ages hula session with Hula Nation
- Tap with Rhythm Is Our Business
- Chalk drawing with Coco Lin
- The BlueBeats
- Classon Community Fridge will collect shelf-stable items & reusable tote bags
- Brooklyn SWAB will be on hand to discuss waste-related issues
Sunday, April 23
The whole calendar of scheduled events, including times, can be found here.
The Open Streets Program first came about at the start of the pandemic as an economic relief program for small businesses. After implementing the program, restaurants saw an average increase of 54% in customer visits, a 45% increase in staff and an estimated 65-70 jobs added, reports Vanderbilt Open Streets.
“Open Streets increased our income significantly and allowed us to keep employees. The program not only brought back many of our customers but brought us many new ones,” says Ellen Fishman, owner of Prospect Heights’ Amorina Cucina Rustica.
More efforts will be put in place to focus on clear signage for pedestrians and cyclists, along with improved logistical support and accessibility for emergency vehicles, thanks to the management team made up entirely of volunteers.
To learn more, see here.