For three days in September, several blocks of Willoughby Street and Lawrence Street, in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, will be closed to traffic and filled with activities, games, and music – allowing pedestrians to enjoy a traffic-free oasis
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today launched Willoughby Walks – during which the commercial thoroughfares of Willoughby Street and Lawrence Street will be temporarily converted into a public playground. Willoughby Walks is scheduled for Thursdays, September 13th, 20th and September 27th, from 12-8pm.
The blocks closed to traffic will be divided into various activity areas. A dedicated fitness area will feature classes from Chelsea Piers Brooklyn, Yogaworks, MAC Gym, and Dodge YMCA. Soccershots will be offering kids soccer classes, while NYU is sponsoring Ping Pong with The Push. An urban lounge will host beach chairs for relaxing and soaking up that DTBK ambience, tables and chairs at which to savor local culinary delights, giant games, and Astroturf to luxuriate upon. At the heart of it all, on Lawrence Street, right by Circa Brewing Co., the main stage will see live music and dance performances, culminating in DBP’s popular salsa nights with Salsa Salsa Dance Studio from 5-7pm.
“Willoughby Walks participants will have a quite different experience than that of the average day in New York City,” said DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray. “Without the worry of vehicular traffic, pedestrians, residents, and visitors can step off the curb and take a moment to appreciate the neighborhood. There will be a wide selection of delicious food, fun activities, and shopping venues. We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy all of the amazing festivities on more relaxed, stress-free streets.”
“Willoughby Walks is all about reinventing public space at the heart of Downtown Brooklyn to liven up our outdoor areas, and we are thrilled to partner with DOT on the program,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “With games, activities, and music filling the streets in a traffic-free space, everyone can enjoy the neighborhood, our wonderful local businesses and all that is on offer. We encourage residents, students, workers and visitors to all come and explore.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “Willoughby Walks will be a welcome diversion for the Downtown Brooklyn community, where the hustle and bustle of traffic is paused to reveal an exciting space for Brooklynites to appreciate and congregate. I encourage our neighbors to come out and take advantage of this expanded open space initiative facilitated by our friends at DBP and DOT.”
“Downtown Brooklyn is not only home to innovation through world-class academic, cultural, and technology institutions, but it is also an example of the urban landscape reimagined,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “Willoughby Walks is a wonderful opportunity to show how we can utilize our public spaces for the benefit of the community. Eat, dance, play – no matter what, everyone is bound to have a great time.”