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100 Miles of New York City Streets to be Turned Over to Pedestrians

34th Avenue between 73rd and 80th Streets was part of the open streets pilot at the end of March (Google Maps)

April 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 100 miles of New York City streets will be turned over to pedestrians as the coronavirus pandemic continues into warmer months.

The announcement follows weeks of pressure from the City Council and advocacy groups who have called for car-free streets amid the outbreak. It also comes nearly a month after de Blasio ended a similar short-lived street closure pilot program at the end of March.

Today, the mayor said the city will begin to open 40 miles of streets to pedestrians over the next month in partnership with the City Council and Speaker Corey Johnson. The goal is to reach 100 miles, focusing on communities hardest hit by the outbreak.

“The Council is thrilled our calls for open streets have been answered and looks forward to working with the administration to give New Yorkers the space they need to socially distance properly,” Speaker Johnson said.

Supporters say there is a pressing need for extra space–particularly as the weather heats up and residents want to venture outside. The additional closures will help residents observe social distancing requirements.

The City and the Department of Transportation (DOT) plan to close 60 miles of streets adjacent to parks. Local precincts and community boards will identify an additional 20 miles of streets to be closed and BIDs, block associations and other civic groups will identify another 10 miles.

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Queens Streets for LOL

As a famous man once said, ask not what your [city] can do for you? Ask what you can do for your [city]? Will drivers be selfless enough to look beyond their windshield at how this will benefit their neighbors? Or will they honk and try to drive through the barricades with a $4000 check for an over-priced drone-video maker? LOL

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Sara Ross

What about delivery trucks like UPS, FedEx, post office, food delivery trucks, etc. Where are they supposed to go? Another stupid idea from stupid politicians. We voted you in and we can vote you out.

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Hans

Many cities in Europe are doing the same. They have found it reduces congestion and raised air quality substantially.

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J

When will we reopen NYC. Our streets are not a playground. Focus on getting people back to work. We have a bunch of overpaid clowns in office. Everyday I watch these press briefs to learn nothing new or relevant to make my life easier. How about open the streets to let food trucks in, people are starving!

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Yah

Closing 40 miles, looking for 100. Never heard of cars passing the virus, but I guess that’s what some New Yorkers have demanded their representative do for them.

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Mathew

Sidewalks are not wide enough to appropriately socially distance. Combine this with the uptick in speeding and accidents despite there being less traffic, this is needed. 70% of people in NYC don’t use cars, we walk everywhere and need to distance to stay safe, it’s the only solution that works for a dense city like us.

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Jessica

Use mass transit, bike or walk if you are worried about driving and parking. With schools, jobs, restaurants and bars closed streets are empty and there are so many parking spaces available. Think about renting a parking space with your stimulus check if its hard for you. Making social distancing easier is way more important. Walking two to three blocks to your home is not going to hurt you. If essential workers such as healthcare and grocery workers can walk, bike or use mass transit then so can you!! We are all in this together.

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Claire

Focus on universal testing before you give people another reason and false sense of security to go outside. We are still in the midst of this pandemic.

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PJ

I hope the outdoor space will make all those trendy healthcare worker dance videos easier. Spring is in the air. And they would have more space to dance and go outside. Hopefully the NYPD and FDNY will join them. Michael Jacksons Thriller would go viral!!

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Talitha

Closing streets to cars and opening them to pedestrians is not enough. Think about closing a couple of bridges to cars. Manhattan should stop being a playground only for rich white people.

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Gia

Offer free masks and gloves to all New Yorkers not only black and brown people in minority neighborhoods and at NYCHA who tend to be the majority of residents.

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Lia

Dog tested positive for Covid 19. It made national headlines. Hopefully these street closures for cars will be pedestrians only and no dogs allowed.

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Genius

What about parking spots?

So, all traffic would be condensed to specific streets?

MTA would run offen to encorauge people to don’t be part of the traffic?

Is it forbidden to turn those streets into a market? (Whoever went to JH on a weekend knows what I’m talking about)

Is it close for bikes, too?. We have cars and bikes runnung the same streets?

Is this to encorage us to go outside or just one Billy’s self sided bright idea?

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