press releases

[Press Release] Open Streets Returns to Vanderbilt Avenue This Spring


Megan Robinson
Katherine Pangaro
Chairs, Vanderbilt Avenue Open Streets Committee

March 16, 2022

Open Streets Returns to Vanderbilt Avenue This Spring

Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council Announces Vanderbilt Avenue’s popular Open Streets program will resume Friday, April 1st.

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn NY — The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, is gearing up for another season of community engagement and local business support. Starting Friday, April 1st, Vanderbilt Avenue will close to traffic from Atlantic Avenue to
Park Place – and open to the community’s residents and guests to gather, eat, drink, play, and enjoy a tiny stretch of Brooklyn without the usual commotion of a busy street in the most populous city in the United States.

Open Streets on Vanderbilt Avenue began as an emergency relief program for small businesses in 2022, saving restaurants, cafés and bars from the demise that has since befallen more than 4,000 of their kind during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has grown immensely since then, helping businesses and residents recover from the pandemic.

“Open Streets increased our income significantly and allowed us to keep employees. The program not only brought back many of our customers but brought us many new ones,” says Ellen Fishman, Owner, Amorina Cucina Rustica.

In addition to providing an open environment for residents and tourists alike, the program’s chief priorities are safety and community-building. Layering upon last year’s successes, the all-volunteer management team remains focused on improving logistical support, increasing clear signage directing pedestrians and cyclists, and ensuring accessibility for emergency vehicles. Weekend programming has included folk singers, brass bands, West African musicians, bicycle-riding demonstrations, community painting activities and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus – who will return July 9th. One resident described the program as bringing “a sense of community and social togetherness in a time of forced solitude.” With ever-growing community support, this year will be more exciting than ever.

Open Streets will be in effect every Friday from 5-10pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays from noon-10pm from April 1st until November 20th.

To learn more or volunteer, please visit To support Vanderbilt Open Streets, please visit the GoFundMe.


Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council is a 501(c)3 organization providing advocacy for neighborhood-wide issues on behalf of the residents and businesses of Prospect Heights since 2004. Its programs have engaged and received the support of thousands of community members in Prospect Heights and its environs.