New York City residents will use their streets for a different purpose this weekend, thanks to rap mogul Jay-Z.
The superstar rapper has joined forces with the citys mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch the Summer Streets program, an effort designed to transform local streets into recreation filled, car-free zones.
Summer Streets will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (August 9) on nearly seven miles of Manhattan streets, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park along Lafayette Street, 4th Avenue, Park Avenue and 72nd Street.
Residents and visitors can take leisurely walks or bike rides along the streets or take part and enjoy various activities such as dance performances, fitness classes, seminars about bicycle commuting, children’s bike instruction, aikido, salsa dancing, tai-chi, running, rollerblading and hopscotch.
Three rest stops featuring art, fitness, dance and cultural activities as well as water stations, bike maps and first aid stations will be located at Spring, 24th and 51st streets.
A main stage on 24th Street will offer music performances and other programs.
Modeled after cities that use street closures to create temporary plazas on the weekends, Summer Streets is slated to continue on August 16 and the 23rd.
Group rides to the event from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens will be offered by Transportation Alternatives.
According to Bloomberg, Summer Streets is a “a grand experiment that could dramatically alter the way we use and look at the streets of New York.”
“Streets that are normally tied up with cars and trucks will be turned over to the public – so that we can experience this city as never before,” he said as he embraced the chance to try something new that could potentially benefit New Yorkers.
For Jay-Z, the program comes as an chance for teens to get involved in positive activities.
The rapper hopes Summer Streets, which offers volunteer opportunities, will become a success and develop into regular program in New York.
For a full list of Summer Streets program activities, visit www.NYC.gov.