NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than a dozen additional streets across New York City are now closed to traffic to help with outdoor dining.
Fifteen new streets have been added to the list of locations that are blocked off specifically to allow for more outdoor seating, CBS2’s Cory James reports.
The area at Spring and Thompson streets in SoHo is now one of the city’s 62 designated spots. People were out Saturday enjoying its opening weekend.
There are countless road barriers up, stopping cars from traveling down streets where tables and chairs are placed out for folks wanting to eat outdoors.
It’s all part of the city’s Open Streets, Open Restaurants program, which is closing off about 100 miles of streets across all five boroughs.
So far, the program is helping over 9,500 restaurants operate during the pandemic.
Customers and business owners are happy the decision was made to create more public space.
“We were quarantined for such a long time, so it just gives us an opportunity to get outside, get some fresh air and know that there is a space that we can go to,” Brooklyn resident Natalie Davis said.
“I believe it does give the customer more sense of security by having no traffic, absolutely, so that might encourage them to come and sit down,” said Roy Ibrahim, owner of Bistro Les Amis.
Amsterdam Avenue from West 97th Street to West 110th Street in Manhattan is one of the biggest stretches that was supposed to be blocked off Saturday, but it was not.
It will reportedly be shut down for outdoor dining next weekend.
The streets are closed Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 11 p.m., and on Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Right now, the city has the program scheduled to end on Oct. 31.