GROUP WANTS CAR-FREE AMSTERDAM

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Taking a page from the “Summer Streets” program that closed off Park Avenue to automobile traffic, a business group wants to block off Amsterdam Avenue for a few Sundays in May.

The Columbus/Amsterdam Business Improvement District (BID) is close to getting the avenue approved for the city’s “Weekend Walks” program.

If the mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office approves the plan, Upper West Siders will be able to stroll down the middle of Amsterdam Avenue, between West 106th and 110th streets, on three consecutive Sundays: May 9, 16 and 23. People could sample food from local restaurants, shop at small businesses in the area and discover neighborhood organizations and service providers. There are also plans to have music performances and art displays during the day.

“It’s going to be a chance for a community celebration and community education,” said Peter Arndtsen, the BID’s district manager. “We hope to bring people together and let people know about organizations that exist in the neighborhood and how to get involved in them.”

The plan has already received support from Community Board 7, the Department of Transportation and the 24th precinct, Arndtsen said.

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