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City to Create “Open Boulevards” Restaurant Corridors Along Ditmars Boulevard and Woodside Avenue

Outdoor dining on Ditmars Boulevard (DOT)

May 12, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The city is expanding last year’s outdoor street dining initiative into a new program called “Open Boulevards” which will create multi-block restaurant street seating, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The program will create extra space for diners on roadways along 10 restaurant-heavy corridors across the city, including two in Queens, over the coming weeks.

“Open Boulevards takes the concept of Open Streets and supercharges it,” de Blasio said during a morning press conference. “Multiple blocks in a row filled with restaurants, with performances, with community activities.”

Ditmars Boulevard, from 33rd Street to 36th Street, in Astoria will be transformed into an Open Boulevard on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Woodside Avenue, from 76th Street to 78th Street, in Elmhurst will be transformed into an Open Boulevard on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards called into the mayor’s press conference to commend the new Open Boulevards and pushed for more in the borough.

“I’m very excited about what we will see happening on Ditmars Boulevard and Woodside Avenue,” Richards said. “Mr. Mayor, you know, I always like to push the button on more, so I look forward to hearing more announcements eventually for Southeast Queens, for Forest Hills and other neighborhoods as well.”

The streets will be closed to vehicular traffic during the designated hours when they are transformed into outdoor dining areas.

Both streets have been part of the city’s Open Streets: Open Restaurants program since last summer.

De Blasio provided few details as to how the “Open Boulevards” program is different from the Open Restaurants program.

He did say, however, that Open Boulevards will feature cultural activities, community-based programming, landscaping and other beautification measures and art installations in addition to restaurant seating.

The city will mark Open Boulevards with branded banners and gateways at entrances and also provide seating for the public.

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10 Comments

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Harriet

My friend chose to live on one of the quietest avenues that was left in Astoria now its turned into a bus lane and its full of traffic and people every weekend when she has off and cant get no sleep due to all the noise.

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Woodside Resident

Yes, a traffic nightmare – too many cars! Exactly why we need programs like this to reallocate street space to people and small businesses. More people out and about also makes for safer neighborhoods with less crime.

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Mitch

Would be nice if we could celebrate Gay pride this year. Or at least allow festivities on Open Boulevards.

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Kate

Open Streets to pedestrians and cyclists is better for traffic and quality of life! I am voting for a mayor who will expand “Open Boulevards.”

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reggie

While crime and shootings are out of control the mayor finds time for more useless priorities to punish you for having a car or being a small home owner near the area. Astoria is a traffic nightmare and Ditmars is full of small homes.

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Cathy

I was there with my kids last weekend and tried to eat outside. It was way to crowded and dirty for my taste and i was not a fan of all the weed smoking.

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Mia

Good for Ditmars diners. Feel bad for the surrounding residents. Its like a loud street festival every weekend. So glad i moved away last year.

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The city is for people not cars. Suburbs are designed for automobiles.

Sounds nice. So drivers need to pay a little extra attention while driving, big deal. Something like this is done in Montreal Canada on a wide scale. The city may want to look there for ideas.,

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Extremists

Good for the restaurants to make money to survive during the pandemic. But does anyone believe that new laws are anything but car haters pushing their agenda? No. Have de Blasio or others them given up their free cars? No.

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