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New York's Open Streets Program Leaves Out Neighborhoods That Need Open Space Most

New York City has opened an increasing number of street miles for pedestrians and people on bikes, but far fewer streets have been opened in the neighborhoods that need it most—low income neighborhoods lacking walkable access to parks and open space.
May 25, 2020, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Coronavirus and Transportation

"Public space for social distancing is hard to find in many of New York City’s low-income neighborhoods," reports Clayton Guse.

That conclusion is made possible by a map published recently by the Trust for Public Land. "The map reveals inequities in Mayor de Blasio’s move to open up 30 miles of streets for pedestrians during the coronavirus pandemic," according to Guse.

The map overlays the open streets opening in New York City, overlaid on a map of walkable proximity to park and open space. "Neighborhoods like Brownsville in Brooklyn and Elmhurst in Queens contain large swaths that are more than a 10-minute walk from an open public park," explains Guse. "But parts of those neighborhoods have been left out of the city’s plan to ban cars from some streets as a relief valve for people on foot."

On May 22, a day after the TPL map was published, New York City announced 13 new miles of open streets and claimed to have the most miles of open streets of any city in the country, according to an article by Gersh Kuntzman.

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Published on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in New York Daily News
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