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View of traffic-calmed Broadway in Flatiron (874 Broadway #301/401, The Agency) View of traffic-calmed Broadway in Flatiron (874 Broadway #301/401, The Agency)
On Saturday, April 20, New York City will close 53 streets to car traffic throughout the five boroughs for Car-Free Earth Day. This will be the city's largest Car-Free Earth Day celebration to date, with over 75% more car-free streets than last year and the streets closed an hour longer than in previous years. During this time, pedestrians can enjoy art installations, music performances, outdoor workouts, and free Citi Bike rentals throughout the streets.
Car-Free Earth Day launched in 2016, and Summer Streets has been going strong since 2008. But at the height of lockdown in 2020, car-free streets took on new urgency when many of the city’s sidewalks were found to be too narrow for proper social distancing to keep Covid from spreading. In response, the Open Streets program was established in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation and local businesses to close certain city streets to cars and open them to pedestrians. This proved popular among pedestrians, bikers, and diners even after the city opened up again, and the City Council passed a bill in 2021 making Open Streets permanent.

In this article:

15 Mercer Street
15 Mercer Street SoHo
45 Christopher Street
45 Christopher Street Greenwich Village
Bridgefront, 42 Main Street
Bridgefront, 42 Main Street DUMBO
The Island House, 575 Main Street
The Island House, 575 Main Street Roosevelt Island
The Sussex, 55 East 65th Street
The Sussex, 55 East 65th Street Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
Curbed notes that with the expiration of pandemic grants, some local partners are finding the Open Streets program too expensive. However, this does not spell the end of a more pedestrian-friendly New York. The car-free “Trick or Streets” Halloween event launched to great approval in 2022. Sections of Fifth Avenue and the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center were closed to car traffic at the height of the holiday season, which led to an additional $3 million in spending in businesses along the street in its first year. And all year long, the city has introduced more public plazas, bike lanes, and bus lanes, which can’t help but reduce space for cars and make for a more pedestrian-friendly experience. With car-free streets growing more popular, and many wishing the environmental, health, and social benefits could last longer, we look at listings on streets that could safely and ideally be closed to car traffic.
A beautiful pedestrianized stretch of Front Street in the South Street Seaport

Christopher-Street-01 Christopher Street via Compass
Christopher Street is known throughout the city, and indeed the world, for its classic Village architecture and rich history. How great would it be to enjoy it all unencumbered by car traffic?

45 Christopher Street, #1C (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Mercer Street Mercer Street in SoHo
Old meets new on Mercer Street, where the Belgian-block streets are lined with cast iron buildings housing Soho flagships for international designers.

15 Mercer Street, #4 (Nest Seekers LLC)

Mott Street is known for its traditional character, and going pedestrian-only would further enhance it while making the already appealing culinary and retail offerings even more accessible.

75 Kenmare Street, #2A (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

As the song says, "it's quiet uptown." It would be even quieter if cars were removed from Convent Avenue.

463 West 142nd Street, #3B (Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing LLC)

Residents and tourists alike enjoy panoramic Manhattan skyline views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Why not go one step further and close one of the streets leading up to it to car traffic?

The Breukelen, #7BC (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Wall-Street-NYC Wall Street (CityRealty)
Portions of Broad and Wall Streets were closed off after September 11 to protect the stock exchange - how about lengthening the closure to save the lungs of workers and residents in the canyons of the Financial District as well?

75 Wall Street, #33O (Platinum Properties)

South-Street-Seaport-04 Fulton Street in the Seaport District
A short Belgian-blocked section of Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport is already pedestrianized, so why not continue this to Fulton Center on Broadway?

District, #PH211 (Modlin Group LLC)

Perhaps if pedestrian streets were more common in NYC, visiting the annual Feast of San Gennaro would be less of a hassle.

176 Mulberry Street, #4 (Coldwell Banker Warburg)
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SoHo Street Prince and Mercer streets in SoHo (CityRealty)
Prince Street
Just a beautiful street with some way-too-narrow and overcrowded sidewalks. Most of SoHo should have restrictions on cars for certain parts of the day/weekends.

25 Prince Street, #3A (R New York)

Though many of its mom-and-pop retailers have been priced out, the high street remains one of the most charming of its kind in the city.

32 Jones Street, #2A (Compass)

Saint Marks Place
Aside from deliveries and picking up drunk college students (via taxi or ambulance), why are there cars here?

87 Saint Marks Place, #PHA (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Union Square
With the cars mostly gone, how about a pedestrian-friendly redesign a la Union Square?

d'Orsay, #10B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Madison Square at Broadway and 23rd Street
The success of closed sections of Broadway at Times Square, Madison Square, and Union Square make this an obvious candidate.

The MacIntyre, #301401 (The Agency Brokerage)

Park Avenue and 50th Street in 1922Credit: Museum of the City of New York: w
Park Avenue used to live up to its name before swaths of its central median were taken away for car traffic. As the annual Summer Streets event in August shows, there's a desire to get some of that space back.

The Sussex, #1D (Compass)

Main Street (Wikipedia)
The closest NYC has to a car-free community. When planned out in the 1970s, its residential areas were not designed to support automobile traffic, though they've become somewhat commonplace despite the island having a free bus line, a subway station, and a very cool tram. The authority that oversees the management of the island has recently expanded car-free areas.

The Island House, #1315 (Corcoran Group)

Given the number of visitors taking the risk of standing in the middle of the street to capture an iconic photo of the Manhattan Bridge, it's shameful this street hasn't been closed off to cars already.

Bridgefront, #10F (Archpoint Advisory Team)

Willoughby Street
While a short western section of Willoughby Street has been opened up to pedestrians and diners (with the help of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership), why not open up more sections of the lightly-trafficked street in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy?

Belltel Lofts, #10N (Corcoran Group)
Offer us thoughts/suggestions and stay tuned for more pedestrian street candidates next week

Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544
Would you like to tour any of these properties?