Call it a summer stretch!
For four weekends in July and August, Third Avenue between 68th and 90th will close to parking and traffic and transform into a pedestrian mall full of food, performers, and amplified music — a director’s cut version of last year’s eight block “Summer Stroll.”
Community Board 10 gave a unanimous thumbs-up to the open-air piazza, to be called “Summer Streets” this year, which the Third Avenue Merchants group first pitched in 2011 as a way of boosting business in a sagging economy. The idea hit opposition from businesses and residents concerned that it would create traffic congestion and drunken chaos, but the group got approval and pulled in off in 2012 on the stretch between 81st and 89th streets.
Event mastermind Bina Valenzano of the Bookmark Shoppe between 84th and 85th streets reiterated the importance of the fair — which will allow stores on the corridor to put out tables, chairs, stands, and, for the first time, speakers — to small businesses, citing 15–50 percent increases in revenue for participating shops on Summer Stroll nights last year.
“We need this,” said Valenzano.
Thousands came out for last year’s Summer Stroll, despite uncooperative weather, which led to one of the event nights getting cancelled. This year, the fair will run on July 19, July 26, August 9 and August 16, from 6:00–10:30 PM — half an hour later than last year. Sidestreets will remain open to traffic, and the B70 bus will be rerouted along Fourth Avenue.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma
©2013 Community News Group
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