Op-ed: Open our streets, reimagine our city

Every Saturday from last July to December, Mark and Joanna of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District schlepped the blue wooden barriers into the intersections of Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn to let cars know the street was closed to them. And in doing so, they opened the streets to everyone else.

The Fifth Avenue Open Streets — and others like it around the city — give New Yorkers a safe way to gather outside their homes, a new public realm where we can walk, bike, scoot, play, and sit. They provide a lifeline to restaurants and bars that can now offer outdoor seating, a boost to retail, and makeshift spaces to perform, helping to set the stage for the Open Culture program. 

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