NEW YORK — The City Council on Thursday voted to make the “Open Streets” program permanent and turn some streets into 24/7 car-free zones.

The program was put in place during the coronavirus pandemic to give New Yorkers more space to get outdoors.

It was expanded to include space for restaurants to provide outdoor dining options.

The legislation also ensures all city neighborhoods will have the opportunity to participate in the program.

The measure passed by a 40-to-8 vote.

Manhattan City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera joined “Mornings On 1” Friday to talk about the bill.

She said the bill gives New Yorkers an “amazing" opportunity to take back their streets.

"But I would argue that for all of the spaces and the streets that this is working — it has truly changed our communities and our neighborhoods,” Rivera said. “And yes the streets are for the people, and that's exactly what we're doing is we're taking open space and utilizing it for our neighbors."

Rivera said DOT aid will be key to the program's success.

She said that most New Yorkers don't own a car, and this helps push the city in a more eco-friendly direction.


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