Shorter but just as sweet
In a change of plans, this years Summer Stroll on Third Avenue will be truncated, with the event held in two segments so that the 21-block stretch proposed for the event isnt shut to vehicular traffic all at once.
The pedestrian-friendly celebration that debuted last year — in which merchants and local arts groups take over the avenue with entertainment, sidewalk cafés, displays and the like — was originally proposed to extend from Bay Ridge Avenue to 90th Street, but concerns about closing the strip to traffic for that distance on four Friday nights have resulted in a change of plans.
Thus, instead of four long Summer Strolls on four Friday nights this summer, the new plan is to divide the strip into two segments, with the July 19 and 26 events planned for the stretch between 80th and 90th Street, and the August 9 and 16 events planned for the lower portion of the avenue, between Bay Ridge Avenue and 80th Street.
Last year, the event was held between 81st and 89th Streets, and the trial run was so successful that the decision was made to extend the program for 2013.
At the April meeting of the Merchants of Third Avenue, the group sponsoring the event along with State Senator Marty Golden and City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, event Chair Bina Valenzano introduced the new plan, and urged businesses to participate.
We did it for the first time last year and learned from it, Valenzano told her listeners. It will take all of us to really pull it off.
While its unlikely, the merchants group is trying to convince the city to allow them to add two dates to the schedule, so that each half of the Summer Stroll area could have three evenings. We dont think that is going to happen, but we are going to try, Valenzano said.
Bob Howe, MTAs president, said that enthusiastic merchants should do more than simply participate, encouraging neighboring merchants to participate as well. The key to success this year, he stressed, is to persuade your neighbors to come out also, and be out and stay out.
Summer Stroll is scheduled to take place, rain or shine, between 6 and 10:30 p.m. on each evening.
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