100 street miles to close to traffic to help with social distancing

As summer approaches, it may be hard getting New Yorkers to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Apr 28, 2020, 1:42 AM

Updated 1,542 days ago

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As summer approaches, it may be hard getting New Yorkers to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 
To help give New Yorkers some extra breathing room as the summer gets closer, the city will be closing streets to traffic. The goal is to get up to 100 miles. 
Sidewalk widening and additional bike lanes will be included in that number. The citywide program is still in its early stages, so there’s no word yet on where the exact locations will be, but Mayor Bill de Blasio did give some information. 
"The focus here will be to focus, of course -- same as we're doing so many other things -- where the need is greatest. So, so many communities that we already have identified have been very hard hit by COVID. Want to be particularly sensitive to implementing these kind of steps,” says de Blasio. 
He says he also wants to focus on streets around the parks. In the pilot program last month, a part of the Grand Concourse was closed in the Bronx. In Brooklyn, about half a mile on Bushwick Avenue was also closed. 
With less traffic on the roads, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is all for it. "Go out for a walk in New York City but social distance. This is almost an oxymoron, right? You need streets open so people can walk and socially distance. You can't do that on the sidewalk,” said Cuomo. 
The city will work with the NYPD and the Department of Transportation to identify the safest areas.
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