New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he and the city council came to an agreement over a plan that would shut down 40 miles of streets to vehicular traffic and give people more free space as the weather gets warmer.
De Blasio said during his daily briefing on Monday that there has been concern about big crowds gathering in parks and said it was sensible to spread them out. The mayor said that he is committed to opening up to 100 miles of streets to pedestrians if need be.
“The focus here will be on … where the need is greatest. There are so many communities that have been hardest hit by COVID,” he said.
The exact locations will be determined by the mayor’s office, city council, police and transportation department, and de Blasio said one of the locations eyed for the program are the streets near parks.
“We will capture the natural flow of people,” he said “One of the most important places to open is where people are going anyways.”
The mayor also announced that the city will hire 1,000 contact tracers, or disease detectives, to help with the city’s coronavirus response. He called on any medical worker with relevant experience to apply at the city’s Fund for Public Health’s website
“If you had experience in health care field, if you want to lend your talents to the fight, we need you immediately,” de Blasio said.