50+ streets in NYC to go car-free for Earth Day

April 3, 2024

Image courtesy of NYC DOT on Flickr

New York City’s car-free Earth Day event is back and better than ever. On Saturday, April 20, 53 streets and plazas across the five boroughs will be closed to cars and open for pedestrians and cyclists, nearly doubling the number of locations from last year. Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the annual Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day includes seven signature event locations and 46 partner-produced open street locations, featuring public art, community programming, live performances, and more.

Courtesy of DOT

“‘Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day’ encourages New Yorkers to leave their vehicles at home and appreciate our streets as shared open spaces for all,” NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said.

“As part of the city’s largest-ever Car-Free Earth Day celebration, will be hosting programming, music, and other activities at dozens of car-free streets around New York City. And new, temporary public art will help us remember: We only have one planet — and we must all do our part to reduce our carbon footprint and respect our environment.”

Car-free Earth Day 2023 on St. Nicholas Avenue. Photo by NYC DOT on Flickr.

DOT selected four artists to create temporary, environmentally-focused art along certain open streets. Natalia Wood will present “EcoHarmony,” which repurposes furniture and transforms it into organic structures through live plants, showing nature’s potential to reclaim the built environment. Wood will also give out 1,000 plants for free.

“Kelp Parade,” a collaborative artwork by Amanda Thackray and Wendel Jeffrey, will bring a kelp forest to life through 24 flags made of up-cycled plastic bags activated by movement and sound.

Lyubava Kroll will design “Keep NYC Green,” a series of graphics for the aluminum signage installed on streetlights throughout the five boroughs that envisions a sustainable future for the city.

The DOT-sponsored signature events are below:


East 17th Street to West 46th Street

Dyckman Street
Broadway to La Marina

St. Nicholas Avenue
181st Street to 190th Street


5th Avenue
40th Street to 45th Street


Woodside Avenue
75th Street to 78th Street

The Bronx

East 188th Street
East Fordham Road to Grand Concourse

Creston Avenue
East 188th Street to East Fordham Road

Staten Island

Port Richmond Avenue
Post Avenue to Castleton Avenue

Learn more about the partner-produced locations here.

With support from Lyft, Citi Bike is offering eliminated 30-minute rides for 24 hours. Riders can take advantage of the offer by entering the promo code CARFREE24 in the Citi Bike app.

“‘Open Streets: Car-Free Earth Day’ is the most aspirational day of the year when we see how much safer, cleaner, and more vibrant the city can be when our streets are reclaimed for people,” Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York, a non-profit organization that promotes cycling, said.

“This day is a glimpse into what we hope the city’s future will look more like and we can’t thank Commissioner Rodriguez enough for taking this great New York tradition, which he founded in 2016, and once again expanding it so that more New Yorkers can enjoy the fun and excitement of car-free streets.”


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