You are reading

Advocates Ask City to Close Streets to Traffic for Social Distancing Space

City Traffic- Stock Photo (Unsplash)

March 23, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Transportation advocates are asking the City to close off specific streets across the city to traffic, so that pedestrians have more space to practice safe distancing from one amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The calls follow a suggestion by Governor Andrew Cuomo to open New York City streets to pedestrians. On Sunday, the governor asked Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to come up with a plan to keep defiant New Yorkers from gathering together in city parks.

“You have much less traffic in New York City because non-essential workers aren’t going to work,” Cuomo said. “Get creative: Open streets to reduce the density. You want to go for a walk? God bless you. You want to go for a run? God bless you.”

“But let’s open streets, let’s open spaces. That’s where people should be,” Cuomo added.

Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York agreed with Cuomo’s suggestion and provided specific streets where vehicles could be temporarily banned.

“There is a wealth of street space in the five boroughs that could be converted into social distancing-friendly places for people,” Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris and Bike New York Director of Communications Jon Orcutt said in a joint statement.

The groups suggested opening Forest Park Drive, Shore Boulevard within Astoria Park, Jackie Robinson Parkway, 164th Street within Kissena Park and 73rd Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard within Cunningham Park to Queens pedestrians.
  • The streets lack directly adjacent commercial or residential land uses, proving to be straightforward options, the groups said.

The group also suggested closing streets around hospitals to all cars other than emergency vehicles and hospital staff as well as streets routinely closed for the city’s Summer Streets and street fairs.

De Blasio and Johnson were given 24 hours to come up with a plan and are expected to outline that plan today.

However, de Blasio said the City will not be shutting down streets to car traffic on Pix11 this morning.

“We’re presenting a plan today,” de Blasio said. “We are not going to [do] the street shutdown in the first place. We’re sticking with the parks we have, the places where people go because we know how to patrol those places and enforce.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

QBP Richards, advocates rally to demand Mayor Adams restore funding to City’s libraries

May. 17, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

A rally was held at the Queens Public Library at Forest Hills on May 16, during which Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, union reps and library advocates called on Mayor Eric Adams to reverse the proposed $58.3 million budget cuts to the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and the Queens Public Library (QBL) for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1, 2024.

Queens elected officials secure $70 million from New York State Budget for school safety equipment in religious and independent schools

May. 17, 2024 By Anthony Medina

Religious and independent schools throughout the city will soon receive additional funding for school safety equipment, thanks to Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Michael Gianaris, who, after extensive advocacy efforts, successfully secured $70 million from the New York State Budget for 2024-25 for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) grants.

Decomposing body of adult found outside Rego Park apartment building: NYPD

Police from the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills made a gruesome discovery Sunday after residents of a Rego Park apartment building complained of smelling noxious fumes. Officers found the badly decomposed body of an adult lying in the bushes near scaffolding at 92-40 Queens Blvd. just before 1:00 p.m.

EMS responded to the location and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. There were no visible signs of trauma and no identification on the body, police said, adding that the sex and age of the victim has not yet been determined, according to an NYPD spokesman, who added that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.