Open Streets program returns in Brooklyn

The Open Streets program is back in Park Slope, and a welcome sight for people looking to quell cabin fever.

The initiative was launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Caserta, Executive Director of the Park Slope Business Improvement District (BID) hopes to raise enough money to keep it running all the way through 2021.

"We’re trying to create a program that’s permanent. We envision this being something that happens 9 months out of the year," he says.

The community doesn’t receive any money from the city, but it has raised $40,000 in donations, which will go towards additional safety measures like signage and more staffing.

"We definitely need people to walk up and down and keep an eye on the barricades. Occasionally, we have people driving who move barricades and leave them open and it makes a dangerous situation," Caserta adds.

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Some people say the program poses a threat to delivery couriers, often weaving their way— via bike— through masked crowds.

Others think it’ll jeopardize the neighborhood’s already challenging-parking situation.

Restaurant owners like Billy Rubin don’t have many complaints.

The Open Streets program allows him to set more customers and keep business afloat.

"This neighborhood is not the easiest place to park, whether it’s open or closed, the streets, yet people manage it. They understand what’s going on," Ruben told FOX 5 NY.

If the organization raises enough money, Open Streets will be extended to Sundays, as well, from July through September.