Skip to content

Rules for Open Street Events

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rule status: Proposed


Comment by date: April 22, 2024

Rule Full Text

The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management (CECM) is establishing rules for Open street events.

Attendees who need reasonable accommodation for a disability such as a sign language translation should contact the agency by calling or emailing [email protected] by April 15, 2024

Send comments by

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: Raynard Edwards, Director of Street Activity Permit Office, Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, 253 Broadway Room/Floor: 6th Floor ; New York, New York 10007

Public Hearings


April 22, 2024
10:00am - 11:00am EDT


Connect Virtually
If prompted enter the following meeting ID and password:
- Meeting ID: 250 183 928 896
- Passcode: GjaAM

Join via phone only: To join the meeting by phone, use the following information to connect:
Phone: +1 332-910-6701,, 798 637 830#
Phone Conference ID: 798 637 830

Disability Accommodation

Comments are now closed.

Online comments: 20

  • Isabel Carreras

    I have been working with a event for 30 years and we have not had any issues

    Comment added March 22, 2024 1:29pm
  • Manyi

    It’s not clear how this proposal differs from previous set ups or how this would change the process for applicants and citizens. Transparency, communication, and access to timely responses are most appreciated with any change and proposal.

    Comment added March 26, 2024 10:24am
  • Dinesh chondra Mojumder

    I have been working with a event for 3 years and we have not had any issues

    Comment added March 28, 2024 5:36pm
  • Greta

    There needs to be additional rules around sound systems and garbage during Open Streets events. On W. 116th St. in Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Manhattan, the music coming from the speakers is deafening. There are people all over the streets, and you can barely walk through. Either allow people on the street or on the sidewalk but not both. Many places already have Open Restaurant sheds and Open Streets is just another way for them to take over all of the street. It’s terrible for those with a disability to pass through. Then don’t fine building owners for rat problems when the City has allowed garbage all over the streets.

    Comment added March 29, 2024 2:21pm
  • Calvin Williams

    As a 60+ year member of the Prospect Heights community we have undergone gentrification to the point that only the considerations of the newer monied folks are taken seriously. The elderly, working class, and minority population have been discarded. Please take those whose backs this neighborhood has flourished under need access to adequate transportation and would like to see longtime community businesses stay alive. The redesigned Underhill/Vanderbilt project was done behind our backs. It’s a hazard to FDNY, SDNY, and school buses. Please don’t let the GAP project further isolate us.

    Comment added April 19, 2024 12:00pm
  • Lucy Koteen

    Open Streets have been a disaster for communities and this practice must stop to restore neighborhood cohesiveness. It has created civil unrest pitting neighbor against neighbor where this never existed before. In essence it has been a policy promoted by an organization, Transportation Alternatives, which is financed by capitalism, represented by corporations such as Verra Mobility, Revel, Citi, Lyft and Uber.
    Outside forces, armed with such devices as pre-determined surveys, petitions that can be signed by anyone, anywhere, lobbying elected officials and shutting out and shutting down the voices of those negatively impacted have taken over discussion and debate.
    It has prohibited those with disabilities to be picked up in front of their residence by all transportation options. 
    Open Streets have confused children in allowing them to play in the street on this street but not on other streets.
    Those supporting the Open Streets are similar to colonizers coming in to tell the natives that their lives do not matter and that only THEY know what is good for them and for all.
    They impede a functioning city where it is imperative that emergency vehicles including fire trucks, ambulances, police and sanitation be able to pass through streets quickly and directly. It has forced delivery trucks and all vehicles to spend more time on the road creating more congestion on those streets that remain open. They have created worse air pollution and noise pollution in the surrounding streets due to increasing congestion on those streets. When looking at closing down a street, the impact on a wider network of streets is not considered. Closing off one valve chokes every surrounding valve.
    Where there are gates that need to be moved it forces the driver to get out of their car to remove the gate which puts them in danger of being assaulted and worse. It means that all people regardless of their condition, i.e. pregnant or elderly must remove the gate to travel through to their destination regardless of weather conditions or of their physical condition and strength.
    What began as a temporary practice during the Covid pandemic should never have continued once the pandemic was declared over. It is time to put it to rest and to restore civility on our blocks and in our neighborhoods.

    Comment added April 21, 2024 3:58pm
  • Katrina

    I oppose closing streets which is deceivingly called Open Street. I have yet to see anyone managing the streets to allow drivers through by moving the barricades. Will DOT take over maintaining the closed streets? Supporters who applied to close off streets, secretly in the case of Willoughby Ave, do not want to be responsible for management.
    Supporters want tax dollars allocated to run the closed streets although they cut out tax paying residents from the process and ignored our complaints once the plan was widely revealed in February 2022 via our property manager, not DOT notice via any formal mailing or public meetings. As everyone will recall, there were flyers posted near Fort Greene Park and signature collection was set up in areas where Willoughby Ave residents were not widely known to frequent and during the height of the covid pandemic when people were staying at home.

    In the case of Willoughby Ave being closed, Fort Greene Open Streets lied on the application claiming support from organizations that do not support closing Willoughby Ave (attached). We had to make a FOIA request to even get the information on who filed to close Willoughby Ave since we knew it was not residents in our close knit community. Representatives from The French Speaking Baptist Church, St. Joseph’s College, PS 20, and the Clinton Hill Co-ops were on a call with Community Board 2 detailing why they do not support closing the street, including the church not being able to bring in caskets on weekends from Willoughby Ave. This is despite these various organizations being listed on the attached application as supporting the closure of Willoughby Ave.

    NYC DOT has consistently ignored the community despite over 800 signatures on a petition after neighbors went door to door talking to residents and business owners who live in the neighborhood who oppose closing Willoughby Ave. We never received a response from DOT or multiple city agencies to the petitions that were hand delivered and mailed. The only response was from Council Member Crystal Hudson. She was then promptly attacked for suggesting that residents should be included in the process, link here:

    Now it seems our tax dollars are being requested to keep our street closed despite wide opposition from the residents. As stated on the public hearing zoom meeting, that was recorded, Willoughby Ave is only a few blocks from Fort Greene Park. There is tons of open space as well as huge tax payer funded sidewalks. We do not need more blocks of a closed off street that reroutes traffic to cause more congestion on side streets. Was there ever a traffic study about noise and air pollution caused by closing streets?

    The only program that I recall was a dog park event on Adelphi and Willoughby Ave – directly beside Fort Greene park which made zero sense – and a child was nearly hit that day because she thought it was a playground rather than a street with oncoming traffic. Luckily her dad grabbed her in time. There is regular programming on Myrtle Ave, a block away, and a huge 30 acre park so closing Willoughby Ave never made sense.

    The pandemic is declared over so these pandemic measures need to end, especially given that the Willoughby Ave closure was approved based on fraud.

    It seems everything in this city requires a lawsuit to do the right thing.
    Closing streets and creating congestion on side streets as well as forcing people to use subways when the subway will not be ADA compliant until 2055 and MTA reduced bus service This closing of streets was not well thought out and should have included traffic studies as well as community input.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added April 21, 2024 10:30pm
  • Disabled & Disrespected

    The closed streets in the DOT’s “Open Streets” program prevent my right as an elderly and disabled person to get the needed Uber, Lyft or paratransit to pick me up at my door when I call/order any of them.

    As long as you have metal police gates and signs that intimidate & suggest dissuading hired car drivers to enter, the drivers will NOT MOVE THEM to get to my door-will not drop me off at my home -will not take me to my doctors’ appointments. That’s the only way I can get around! By car!

    That I’m forced to navigate -especially in inclement weather-to get to a corner on a long block-is cruel and ableist.

    Are the disabled disposable? Is that what’s going on?

    Willoughby Ave should have EVERY GATE & SIGN REMOVED on ALL 8 BLOCKS…removed 24/7! And so should every other misnamed “open street”

    Have you no elderly loved ones? Disabled family or friends?

    Comment added April 22, 2024 10:59am
  • Fudot Yesac

    Open streets or rather known as “closed streets” has been detrimental to my neighborhood’s business and quality of life.
    My neighbors who are handicapped, can no longer access their own homes and are bullied by the people who are closed street “partners”.

    This is a disgusting program, that should have ended a long time ago. And these events further ruin the quality of life of a once peaceful neighborhood.

    Communities have been left out from discussions, its time to restore powers back to the people and discontinue the unlimited lobbying power by unknown “non profits” (for profit) entities that want to lock everyone in their homes.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 11:48am
  • Katherine O'Sullivan

    I am opposed to the so called “Open Street” program. Since the beginning of the privatization of Dyckman Street. It was obvious to residents that this was taking our street and giving it to the restaurants/clubs. The planters on the south side of the “plaza” have from the start acted as a barricade to anyone wishing to enter the plaza from the south side. The barricades remain, in spite of requesting them to be removed or at the very least make gaps to create a porous border.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 11:58am
  • Watching Regulatory Capture

    The “Rules” model, as an opportunity for everyday New Yorkers to weigh in, is as farcical as the emergency extension of the COVID pandemic to allow a Lobbying org, Transportation Alternatives to take captive public streets and thoroughfares.

    The one size fits all model and the alleged Rules ‘tweaks’ to the Open Streets plans not only doesn’t mitigate the illegal and negative impact to the disabled and elderly who need to get around by automobile & have gates preventing them from equal movement- it brings a year round intrusive “block party” vibe on streets which are not commercial and where people need a respite from urban noise and events.

    Finally, IF the DOT & NYC government cared for more than their agency captured & manipulated actions and truly were stewards of ALL New Yorkers, they would have done intensive Environmental Assessment studies -to learn how potential negative impacts would interfere with access and egress and quality of life.


    Comment added April 22, 2024 12:19pm
  • Esther Blount

    The open/closed street on Willoughby Avenue in Brooklyn (CB2), which is, currently 24 hours 7 days a week, is so ridiculous since Fort Greene Park is on the same block where the open street starts. Now the new proposed times are 8am – 8pm 24hours. This open street is in violation of federal ADA laws. As it stands now individuals with limited mobility or who are completely disable, must get out their car to move barriers to have access to the street. Taxis and access-a-ride will not move barriers to drop people at their door. Willoughby Avenue should not be a open/closed street at ALL.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added April 22, 2024 12:39pm
  • Wendy Frank

    Can someone tell me since I can’t find it on your website what is the events dept plan for sustainable events? When street fairs happen there should be a compost area? I can’t find anything on the website about this. Closing down streets should have a green sustainable plan.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 1:03pm
  • Maria C. Notaro

    These misnamed “open” streets are teaching kids they can walk in the middle of a street and not pay attention to their surroundings, they are not aware there is a difference between “open” streets and real streets that were designed for cars. Shutting the elderly and disabled in is so criminal. Having 26 blocks closed to traffic for 13 hours a day for whom? The food delivery guys? The illegal vendors? The Jackson Heights historical district has been turned into a slum from the third world and no amount of denying it from all the TransAlt , and commie politicians can make it a great place. There are now streetwalkers from Roosevelt that do their “work” at night. There is no resting at night and all the used condoms in the morning are proof of what I am saying. Emergency services have issues getting through it is total bedlam. To everyone that says differently should burn in hell because they do not live there.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 1:41pm
  • Mersman

    As a daughter of someone who was disabled and someone who works with children who have special needs, Open Streets prioritizes the youth and the abled while showing complete for the elderly and people with disabilities. Even “able” bodied people have a hard time removing police barricades. While I understand people want play spaces for their children, NYC is rich with parks. Pedestrians have sidewalks, and bike lanes have been expanded all over the city. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who requires door to door service. It’s unacceptable that our DOT is actively closing streets all for some misguided ideologues. The streets belong to everyone and are for a public benefit, not a private playground.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 2:17pm
  • Ellen Halloran

    Residents of the actual Open Street should always be considered and informed of all events. It should be the responsibility of event holders, as well as the Mayor’s office, to make sure we are aware of any events that might create difficulties/obstacles in leaving or arriving at our homes. Considering no one asked homeowners their feelings on the concept of OS BEFORE imposing it and all of its exponentially negative effects on homeowners, renters and resident taxpayers.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 3:23pm
  • BK Mom

    Open Streets Rules should specify that any signs placed on barricades or NYC property by the DOT or Open Streets partners shall not be controversial in nature. Signs shall only pertain to current hours of operation and who is allowed to move the barricade to access the street e.g. emergency responders, pick up services, local vehicles etc. If signs are allowed that are controversial in nature, opposing viewpoint signs shall also be allowed. Re The Rules pertaining to emergency vehicles having 24 hour access: “Clarified Sections 4-21(a)(ii), 4-21(b)(1)(iii)(C), and 4-21(c)(9)(ii) by indicating that emergency access, in addition to an emergency lane, must be clear at all times for emergency vehicle access;” barricades, improperly placed planters etc prevent emergent vehicle access. They must be removed from Open Streets.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 4:35pm
  • Karen Young

    I will definitely not be voting for Eric Adams. No, No, No, No, No, No, No absolutely not.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 5:06pm
  • Rose Halloran

    Today, a sunny, beautiful day, during a school break, as i walked along 34th Avenue (on the sidewalk) I counted 18 pedestrians walking on the open street. I’d love to know what your vision for this program entailed, but find it hard to believe that 18 folks using it was all you had hoped for. This disastrous program must be reconsidered. Few pedestrians use it, the traffic on the other avenues is horrendous, noise, litter and vermin are rampant. As a homeowner who lives on 34th Avenue, I have complained about the lack of consideration by the City since the inception of this ridiculous program.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 5:40pm
  • Martia Patrick Gordon

    From the SAPO Proposed Rule Document
    “These proposed SAPO rules would maximize opportunities for the public to hold events on Open Street locations while also ensuring that the City has advance notice of all Open Street activity so that events may happen in an orderly fashion while also ensuring that the Open Streets remain available for everyday use and enjoyment by the public. In addition, these proposed rules would govern the issuance of permits to hold events on Open Streets, including rules regarding submission and processing of event applications, approval or denial of event applications, appeals of denials of Open Street event permits and fees for the use of Open Streets.”

    I still cannot figure out if Quisqueya Plaza on Dyckman Street, having been an Open Street and now a Plaza is fully under the “rules” for events for Plazas or Open Streets?

    No matter what, it seems to me that either one would require: advance notice to the community, parameters for decibel levels and consideration of FREQUENCY of events. All of those are touched on in the overview SAPO Proposed Rules document.

    There is insufficient notice for Quisqueya Plaza events. It is ESSENTIAL that the neighboring community be given notice….and not only by Instagram. Even the Car-Free day was not announced for Dyckman Street. As an aside, the irony was not lost on me…TRAFFIC WAS COMPLETELY BACKED UP ON Payson Avenue, Riverside Drive and Broadway in the area of Dyckman Street…causing more idling cars than on a “normal” Saturday, which is already busy.

    IS THERE A WAY TO MONITOR the NUMBER OF events in a Plaza? For instance, the days that I can enjoy the Plaza are Saturday and Sunday…which will now be tied up with events and I will not have “enjoyment of the Plaza” as was the purpose of it being created?

    LASTLY, the application process whether through SAPO or DOT MUST INCLUDE REFERENCE to a human-scale decibel level for the mental and physical health of the neighboring community.


    Thank you.

    Comment added April 22, 2024 5:44pm