Eyes on the Street: This Year’s First “Street Seats” Have Begun to Sprout

Photo: NYC DOT/Twitter
A Street Seat on Duane Street was installed this week. Photo: NYC DOT/Twitter

It’s Street Seats season — the time of year when curbside seating replaces parking to reclaim some space for people, at least for the summer.

Street Seats are installed by DOT. The seats, which fold up at night, are maintained by an adjacent sponsoring business and are open to the public. DOT received 22 applications for Street Seats this year, the most in the program’s six-year history, and approved 13 locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

Some seats have already been installed, with more coming in the next few weeks, before they will be removed in November.

Photos: Charles Komanoff
Before and after on Duane Street. Photos: Charles Komanoff

One of the first Street Seats on the ground is outside Laughing Man Coffee and Tea on Duane Street in Tribeca. The project almost didn’t happen because DOT requires community board approval before installing the seats. In March, Community Board 1 members worried that more space for pedestrians would create a street safety danger. Ultimately, the plan squeaked through the local committee, 4-3, before passing the full board later in the month, according to the Tribeca Trib.

The complete list of Street Seats installed so far this year, from DOT:

  • 60, 62 and 66 Pearl Street, Manhattan
  • 144 Sullivan Street, Manhattan
  • 111 Lawrence Street, Brooklyn
  • 192 Duffield Street, Brooklyn
  • 184 Duane Street, Manhattan

The following locations will be getting street seats in the coming weeks:

  • 120 Essex Street, Manhattan
  • 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx
  • 1686 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn
  • 65 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
  • 16-20 Jefferson Street aka 173 Henry Street, Manhattan
  • 421 and 423 E. 149th Street, the Bronx
  • 410 E. 148th Street, the Bronx
  • 425 Mother Gaston Boulevard, Brooklyn