I don’t know why, but we currently cede a massive amount of square footage to car owners in this city, at the expense of pedestrians, parents, and cyclists of NYC. In Park Slope, owning a car is a luxury – not a necessity – and we need to stop subsidizing carbon emitting privilege – especially when it comes at the expense of diminished safety, quality of life, and health of NYC residents. One promising step toward achieving a more equitable environment would be to MAKE PERMANENT open streets (as half-heartedly attempted by De Blaz) during the pandemic. If we are serious about protecting small business and outdoor dining in the colder month, we will need more space. Closing 5th and 7th avenues to Private traffic as much as possible would allow for this. Closing PPW on the weekends to private vehicle traffic would allow New Yorkers to stroll freely without playing Frogger with each other, bobbing and weaving to avoid close contact and spread of the virus.
As I walk to work each day (I’m a teacher!) it’s scary stepping into blocked intersections and crosswalks with cars lurching forward. As Public Schools open, it’s only going to get worse. Please also consider doing something – anything – to make walking to school and back for students safer.