Stretches of some of New York City’s major streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic in order to provide greater social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The streets will be closed for a pilot program that will run from Friday, March 27 to Monday, March 30.
The four streets have been selected by NYC’s mayor Bill de Blasio. They will act as pedestrian-only corridors during this time, and will be closed to cars from 10am to 7pm during the four-day test.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected a street in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx boroughs of New York City to become a pedestrian corridor. De Blasio enacted a state of emergency in the city on 12 March
NYC Street closures
The following NYC roads will be closed to vehicles from March 27 to March 30 between 10am and 7pm
Manhattan: Park Avenue, between 28th Street and 34th Street
Brooklyn: Bushwick Avenue, between Johnson Avenue and Flushing Avenue
Queens: 34th Avenue, from 73rd Street to 80th Street
The Bronx: Grand Concourse, between East Burnside Avenue and 184th Street
Park Avenue in Manhattan will be closed between 28th Street and 34th Street to all vehicles between 27 March to 30 March
As will Bushwick street in Brooklyn which will be closed between between Johnson Avenue and Flushing Avenue
At first, roughly 1.6 miles of roads will be closed out of the city’s 6,000 mile of roads, but more closures are expecting if the trial is a success.
The fifth borough that makes up New York City, Staten Island, has not had a street closed during the trial, but a spokeswoman for the Mayor’s office confirmed that more closures could be coming.
In an email, mayoral spokeswoman Jane Meyer said: ‘Additional sites are being considered for this initial pilot and will be announced when details are finalized. These current locations will be re-evaluated for continued public access.’
Grand Concourse in The Bronx will close between East Burnside Avenue and 184th Street
Streets on 34th Avenue between 73rd Street to 80th Street in Queens is pictured above on Thursday
34th Avenue and 78th Street seemed quite on Thursday ahead of the area being closed to traffic
Mayor De Blasio had previously committed to closing up to two streets per borough to free up more space for pedestrians. While he has not done so yet, this could be the next step.
Police will be positioned on all four streets to ensure the closures and social distancing measures are being followed. The mayor’s office has said that parked cars can remain where they are during the closure.
New York State is the worst hit place in the US by the coronavirus with over 33,000 confirmed cases and 325 deaths, according to the New York Times. 21,395 of these are in New York City itself.
If New York State was it’s own country, it would be above Iran, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in the total cases ranking, and only behind Germany, Spain, Italy and China.
On the 12 March, Mayor De Blasio called a state of emergency, immediately sparking furious panic shopping from New Yorkers as grocery stores across the city saw chaos and frantic stockpiling with residents fearing the worst.
De Blasio attempted to calm the panic, asking for a stop in the spread of misinformation and stating that Manhattan would not be quarantined.
The state of emergency allows the mayor activate a range of extreme measures including a curfew, closing down public transport, prohibiting people from being on the streets, rationing and limiting alcohol use.
Cases in NYC have soared in the last week, reaching 21,395 confirmed cases on 26 March
US coronavirus deaths as of 25 March. New York State makes up almost a third of these