What would happen if we captured roadway from cars and gave it to residents? We decided to find out in an experiment at Finn Square in Tribeca on Saturday June 14. After much worrying and planning and loads of work by Alessandra Galletti, the chairperson of the event, we found out. It turns out that nothing bad happened! No traffic snarls. No crazy mess or noise. Families and kids came out to discover a new place to play, safe from cars. Friends of Greenwich Street and Tribeca Trust promoted their causes. Kids walked dogs. Tiny skateboarders showed up. Bikers stopped to chat, as did Borough President Gail Brewer and Councilmember Margaret Chin.
New York Academy of Art artists had a plein-air drawing session. Battery Dance Company led a workshop. A Tribecan rock band performed (our own teenagers!), two opera singers showed up, and Yo-Re-Mi and the Tribeca Community School families showed up in force with activities for kids. The Chinese Cultural Center sent dancers too. There was a voter registration booth to keep us civic minded. Grand Daisy Bakery sold pizza slices. It was amiable and fun. The owner of Square Diner came out to chat. Butterfly Cafe promoted their restaurant. When it got hot, we stuck to the shade and talked with neighbors, teaching us that if we did it again, we’d need more trees or umbrellas. Here are some photos. You can see for yourself what people did and how they used the roadway. Click on the picture to deploy the slideshow. Thanks to Whitney Cox and Robert Ripps for the photos. Please comment. What do you think of using the roadway for people rather than cars?