Letter: A Network Of Downtown Dining Streets

Jeff Prant's idea for a network of Downtown streets that are reserved for restaurant dining.

To the Editor:

It is increasingly evident that New Yorkers will be least vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus when outdoors. With the advent of warmer weather, this is the perfect time to allow restaurants to utilize the entire street and/or sidewalk to set up tables for their patrons. Where there is a high density of existing restaurants, we could create corridors of car-free restaurant streets and unite multiple streets to create a contiguous network. These restaurant streets would invite New Yorkers to stroll, window shop, and eat in an engaging and safe environment. It would be a huge lifeline to our struggling restaurants, a boon to the New York economy, and a massive upgrade to our quality of life. 

Here's an example [above] of a car-free restaurant route in Lower Manhattan. It unites the already car-free Stone Street with the many restaurants on Pearl, Fulton, Church, Mulberry, Mott, Doyers, and Pell Streets. Anyone in the Financial District would be no more than a 10 minute walk from the restaurant route. 

Other obvious candidates for car-free restaurant streets could include 32nd St., Restaurant Row, 9th Ave., (Midtown), Amsterdam Ave., Lexington Avenue, Cortelyou Rd., Smith St. (Brooklyn) Arthur Ave. (Bronx) Steinway St. (Astoria), 74th St. (Jackson Heights) and Roosevelt Ave. (Flushing).                                                  

Jeff Prant

Jeff Prant is a writer and photographer. He lives in Brooklyn.