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City to open streets as holed- up New Yorkers look for breathing room

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson today announced the first group of streets that would be opened to pedestrians and cyclists every day starting next week, when spring temperatures are forecasted to arrive. 

The streets, spanning over seven miles and reaching all five boroughs, are part of the Open Streets initiative designed to provide greater social distancing among New Yorkers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio

“New Yorkers deserve safe ways to enjoy the warm weather while we fight through this crisis, and I’m proud of my team for jumping into action with this first group of open streets,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“Our parks have played a critical role in maintaining public health during this crisis. But we cannot afford to have a high demand for open space create unhealthy situations. That’s why we’re opening streets and offering more options for New Yorkers to get outside safely.”

“Today is a great first step and an exciting day for an entire city starved of adequate open space,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“While we continue our fight against this awful virus, we need to give people the space they need to maintain proper social distancing, and I’m glad we’re making progress towards that goal.”

On Monday, the Mayor and the Council announced that 40 miles of streets citywide would be opened during May to allow greater social distancing, with a plan to expand to 100 total miles to be identified in the weeks ahead.  

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