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Voluntourism Spotlight: The DOT’s New York Summer Streets

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New York is notorious for its summer heat, but did you know that every August the streets are yours? In fact, for three Sundays in a row they are officially shut down as part of the Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets program. Find out how you can not only attend, but volunteer at the event in this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

For three weekends in August, the NYC Department of Transportation is closing down Park Avenue and other streets from the Brooklyn Bridge through to Central Park for the Summer Streets program.

The event is molded after and has gained comparison to Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France. The event is in keeping with the NY DOT’s mission is to facilitate efficient environmentally responsible movement that is safe while maintaining the crucial transportation infrastructure of New York.

Summer Streets mixes together bike tours, walking tours, free roaming, and a gigantic block party to create a memorable and unique experience for residents and tourists.

Summer streets operates from 7 am to 1 pm on its dates. All the activates that are offered are free of charge. About 7 miles of streets are closed and DOT encourages attendees to run, bike, walk, skate, or attend a fitness class Summer Streets is all about healthy exercise and sustainable forms of transportation.

For people who are looking to help out with this great program volunteer positions are available in 4 hour on Saturday August  4, 11, 18. It’s a great way to make friends and get out and interact with the locals.

After 1 pm when Summer Streets ends attendees are encouraged to head to central park and enjoy SummerStage a free concert series hosted all summer in parks around the New York boroughs.

For more information on the program, visit the official website

By Kevin Theal

Image credit: DOT