You are reading

Get ready to enjoy car-free streets and free Citi bike rides during DOT’s Earth Day event, Apr. 20

Apr. 5, 2024 By Athena Dawson

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced this year’s Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day event on Saturday, Apr. 20, with a record number of streets going car-free.

New Yorkers can expect an action packed day filled with fun activities and educational events related to environmentalism, climate change and sustainable transportation.

The locations will feature innovative public art and community programming for residents to interact with. The car free operations is expected to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are a total of 54 locations across the five boroughs. In Queens, the standout site will be on Woodside Avenue, stretching from 75th Street to 78th Street in Elmhurst.

The DOT plans to display environmentally focused work from four artists as a part of the public art programming. The artists- Natalie Wood, Wendel Jeffrey, Amanda Thackray and Lyubava Kroll- will have their work showcased along select routes throughout the city. Some of the artwork includes “EcoHarmony,” a group of repurposed furniture that has been transformed into a live plant sculpture, and “KelpParade,” which brings a kelp forest to life through 24 sound and movement activated flags, created from upcycled plastic bags.

Additional signature locations in Queens are:

141st Street Open Street:
141st Street from 109th Avenue to Lakewood Avenue, Jamaica

31st Avenue Open Street:
31st Avenue from 33rd Street to 35th Street, Astoria

34th Avenue Open Street:
34th Avenue from 69th Street to Junction Boulevard, Jackson Heights

62nd Street Open Street:
62nd Street from Woodside Avenue to Dead End, Woodside

Bliss Plaza:
Queens Boulevard at 46th Street, Astoria

Lowery Plaza:
Queens Boulevard at 40th Street, Astoria

Murdock Avenue Open Street:
Murdock Avenue from 180th Street to Dead End, Jamaica

Residents can also take advantage of free 30-minute rides on classic Citi Bikes courtesy of Lyft. Riders can get the 24 hour offer with the code CARFREE24 in the Citi Bike app.

Many local government leaders praised the event as a great way to bring climate change awareness and sustainability practices to residents across the city. “This event is a great way to encourage city residents to reduce our reliance on cars and to take other steps that will reduce our city’s carbon footprint and help limit the negative impacts of climate change, which we have already started to feel,” said Queens Borough President, Donovan Richards.

The DOT’s Car-Free Earth Day initiative started in 2016, originally turning select Manhattan streets into car free public spaces for pedestrians and local businesses to gather. This year’s launch comes as the DOT was awarded $30 million in contracts to expand resources to areas in need of support from the initiative. 

The Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day event also marks the official start of the city’s Open Streets and Public Space Programming season.  The Open Streets program focuses on a range of limited to full street closures that turn streets into a public space, open to all residents. The closures allow for an array of activities that focus on promoting economic development, school events and pedestrian and bike spaces. The Public Space Programming invites New Yorkers to participate in an array of free public activities related to community engagement.

Recent News