You know how much it sucks each year when the city’s traffic gets out of control as a result of the Puerto Rican Day Parade (an episode of Seinfeld comes to mind), the Gay Pride Parade, or just one of those generic "street fairs" which are really just an excuse to sell tube socks next to grilled corn? Get ready for three more Saturdays’ worth of traffic jams this summer—minus the music and chanting, thankfully.
Mayor Bloomberg, with Lance Armstrong (obvious choice) and Talking Heads’s David Byrne at his side, announced Monday that a 6.9-mile route from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park will be closed to cars for six hours on three consecutive Saturdays starting August 8.
The experiment has been deemed “Summer Streets” by the mayor and is an attempt to follow in the footsteps of other cities like Paris and London that have no-cars-allowed streets. The idea is that, in closing the corridor, the streets will be open for pedestrians to roam freely and cyclists to no longer fear for their lives. Sounds to me like New York’s longest street fair. Soho residents have already said no to turning Prince Street into a pedestrian zone. They say they don’t want their hood to resemble some outdoor mall (of course, we all chuckle that they think it’s anything but).
Maybe this is Bloomberg’s way of getting back at his downtown pals for keeping congestion pricing from passing. It’s a sort of poetic justice for keeping all the cars on the street. Now, unless there’s some sort of ban set up on street vendors and their kiosks, you won’t be able to swing your leg over a bike seat without knocking over five Nuts 4 Nuts stands.