Taking NYC To New Heights At Summer Streets Pedestrian-Fest

by Cameron Picardi · June 13, 2012

New York is known to many as the concrete jungle. With a forest of high-rises as the landscape, and herds of taxis as the fauna, New York’s beauty is often overlooked. The city’s annual Summer Streets pedestrian fest, now in its fifth year, has served to remedy this situation. This year, the Department of Transportation will offer a new way to experience all of the splendor by, literally, overlooking it.

[Union Square; Photo via]

NYC Transportation Department Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan summarized the experience to the New York Times as

"taking New Yorkers to new heights."

In this case, new heights moves beyond rooftops and refers to zip lining. The festival will offer New Yorkers the opportunity to view the city from 30 feet in the air. The 160-foot-long zip line is FREE to the public. It will be set up at Foley Square at the south end of the strip, near City Hall.

A five-mile strip of Park Avenue, Lafayette Street, and Centre Street, from East 72nd Street down to Chambers Street will also be closed to cars, cabs, and buses. Here, the boulevards will be transformed into a wonderland of yoga, dancing, roller-skating and games. As in previous years, the Department of Transportation will be distributing free helmets and setting up a 25-foot climbing wall at Lafayette and Spring Streets.

As stated on the Summer Streets website, this festival

"provides more space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation."

The pedestrian experience is further heightened with Weekend Walks offered every weekend through October in all five boroughs. This opportunity has been created through a partnership between community groups and the Transportation Department. Each walk offers its own set of activities, including classes, musical performances and youth programs. With 20 Weekend Walk locations, there will be a convenient location for everyone.

Summer Streets will take place on the first three Saturdays in August from 7 AM to 1 PM. Whether Tarzan makes an appearance or not, this experience will be a great way to see the city from new heights.

For more information about the program click HERE.

When: August 4th, 11th, and 18th 7 AM to 1 PM Cost: FREE Where: See the route map HERE!

[Summer Streets 2011; Photos via]