Back in 2008, Jackson Heights residents banded together to win car-free Sundays on 78th Street, creating a new, temporary public space for children and families in one of NYC’s most park-starved neighborhoods. This year neighborhood activists aimed much higher: They wanted to make the street car-free 24-7 for the entire months of July and August.

As you’ll see, thanks to committed volunteers and strong leadership from District 25 Council Member Daniel Dromm, they overcame initial hesitation from the local community board’s transportation committee — which voted the idea down — to make it happen.

The fight was worth it, Dromm told us. “It was recognized just about two weeks ago in The Queens Tribune as being one of the best things about Queens – this play street,” he said. “So imagine if we hadn’t done it?” Indeed. We hope other electeds are in tune with their neighborhoods as much as Council Member Dromm.

All summer long, 78th Street was filled with a warm, family atmosphere, sometimes well after sundown. As for next year, there’s talk of possibly giving this car-free street even greater permanence. Stay tuned.

streetfilms.org/a-car-free-street-grows-in-queens/

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