The barricades are up, police are on the scene and people are walking Thursday morning.
They’re taking advantage of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights being closed off to cars.
“There was no way to get people out of their cramped apartments and breathe unless they get more space so we’re so excited that they’re opening more of 34th Avenue,“ said Nula Odoherty Naranjo.
The nearly one mile stretch from 78th Street to Junction Boulevard is one of the 12 miles of streets now open for pedestrians and cyclists under an expansion of the city’s open streets program.
It’s meant to help New Yorkers get outside while staying socially distanced, important for residents here who have little park space, and narrow sidewalks.
“This is a very residential neighborhood and some of the cars come down here really fast, you don’t feel safe on the streets, this is good that we can just all be out,” one morning walker said.
Streets will be closed off in busy areas across the five boroughs.
Some will be managed by local precincts, and some by neighborhood business improvement districts.
A number of the closures are next to parks.
This now brings the City's total to 30 miles of open roads that you can walk around freely since the program was announced at the end of last month.
In April, the Mayor and Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced that 40 miles of streets would be opened by the end of May, with a plan to eventually expand the program to 100 miles.
“People are very excited they feel it’s a little bit easier to get out, especially with the warmer weather coming and it’s nice to be able to get out and walk a little bit with your dog or with your kids and not feel like your endangering yourself or your neighbors,” said Alfonso Quiroz.
Nine miles of protected bike lanes are also being installed this month.
The shutdowns will run from around 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, depending on the neighborhood.
Emergency vehicles, utility services and delivery companies will be allowed on the closed streets but not faster than 5 miles per hour.