NEW YORK, NY – As New York City inches its way towards a June 8 “Phase One” opening, experts worry that the lack of a comprehensive public-transit plan will doom it to increased traffic — and potentially the car accidents that such traffic brings.
Gothamist published an article today detailing the challenges the city faces as people begin returning to work in the next week, especially with the mayor conceding that MTA budget cuts and public fear will reduce ridership.
“You may see people use their cars more in the short term if they have a car, or use for-hire vehicles, for example. But that’s a short-term reality,” de Blasio said last week.
The move towards a more car-centric city has been abetted by the region’s large new and used dealership network, which sells more than one million cars per year and generates some $51 billion in revenue. In an effort to move product purchased before the pandemic, new-car dealers are offering incredibly low rates on their merchandise — often as low as 0% financing over a seven-year period.
The Department of Transportation meanwhile reports that East River bridge crossings—which had plummeted by 42% at the end of March, relative to the same time period in the previous year—were down to just 11% by May. And that’s as large swaths of the workforce remain at home.
Before the coronavirus struck, traffic speeds in Manhattan’s central business district were a sluggish 4.7 miles per hour. Those rates may decrease even further. But while speeds in certain parts of the city may decrease, the increase in car traffic stands to put pedestrians at even greater risk.
This article is part of our series about life in New York during the coronavirus crisis. If you or someone you love has been injured in the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Finz & Finz, P.C., today to discuss your case with one of our New York coronavirus attorneys.