Where Open Streets Are Succeeding

The cities that are making their pandemic-era car-free experiments permanent.

1 minute read

January 6, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

New York City Open Streets

'Al fresco street' in New York City. | EQRoy / Shutterstock

While some cities are reverting their ‘open streets’ to car-oriented spaces, others are keeping the car-free spaces created during the pandemic. An article by Linda Poon, Feargus O'Sullivan, and Amy Yee in Bloomberg CityLab highlights the places where street transformations are becoming part of the permanent fabric of the city.

The list includes San Francisco’s John F. Kennedy Drive, a mile of which winds through Golden Gate Park. After the city banned cars on this stretch in 2020, local groups mounted an intense opposition campaign. “It has since turned into a full-out pedestrian promenade, with vibrant street murals and eye-popping art installations, including a trio of seven-foot-tall dachshund head sculptures from the city’s defunct fast-food icon Doggie Diner, planted right in the middle of the street.” Ultimately, the city decided to keep the road car-free.

Another success story is 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, which became a vibrant pedestrian hub as part of the city’s Open Streets initiative. While there is some local opposition, the street has so far remained car-free.

The article also describes projects in Stockholm, Paris, Milan, Bogotá, and Quito, where a 1-mile segment of Viracocha Street was made safer for pedestrians and cyclists with extended sidewalks, new crosswalks, narrowed traffic lanes, and a street mural.

Thursday, December 29, 2022 in Bloomberg CityLab

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