NEW YORK, NY – Speaking to the press on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he expected an increase in car traffic beginning in June as New York City began to relax its lockdown rules and workers avoided public transit out of fear of infection.
Gothamist notes the irony of such a proposition, given that de Blasio’s administration has long pushed for increased MTA ridership and fewer cars on city roads, particularly in Manhattan. And de Blasio’s statement comes mere days after Japan ended its state of emergency, as contact tracers concluded that not a single COVID case could be pinpointed to its subway system, where riders generally keep to themselves and wear masks.
One of de Blasio’s signature achievements while in office has been his Vision Zero project, which aims to reduce pedestrian deaths on city streets to zero by 2024. An increase in street traffic will almost certainly result in an increase in the number of pedestrians injured and killed on the city’s streets. Several people died in pedestrian accidents recently after New York set a modern record for days without a pedestrian fatality.
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