Council Overrules De Blasio, Will Create Miles of Open Streets; Mayor Not Giving In - StreetsBlog

Mayor de Blasio will be forced — by law — to open up scores of miles of roadways for pedestrians and cyclists, thanks to a City Council bill that will be introduced next week.

Details of the bill were not provided, but Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement that the goal is to “allocate more street space to pedestrians and cyclists … with a citywide target of 75 miles of streets.”

The proposal, co-sponsored by Manhattan Council Member Carlina Rivera, comes after the mayor’s own 1.5-mile open streets pilot collapsed under the weight of the mayor’s requirement that it be constantly staffed by numerous police officers at a time when the NYPD itself has been racked by coronavirus in addition to having more important priorities than guarding play streets (all of which was captured in a Streetsblog video parody).

“New Yorkers don’t have the street space they need to maintain proper social distancing, which we know is essential in this public health crisis,” Johnson said in a statement that was short on details, but long on quotes from Council supporters (13). “While we want to work collaboratively with the administration to open streets, this issue is so important and so urgent that we are taking legislative action to make it happen ourselves.”

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