March 26, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A stretch of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights will be closed to traffic and opened to pedestrians Friday in order to promote social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The DOT announced that 34th Avenue between 73rd and 80th Streets will close to cars and other vehicles from Friday, March 27 through Monday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, as part of a pilot program.
Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx will each have one street opened to pedestrians. Additional streets may be added, the mayor said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested opening up the streets after visiting New York City last weekend, where he saw groups of people congregating in close contact at city parks.
The goal of the pilot program is to increase outdoor space so New Yorkers can get some air while practicing proper social distancing — staying at least six feet from others — in order to slow the spread of the virus.
The plan comes at a time when there is hardly any traffic in New York City and there is a pressing need for space.
“Open the streets. People want to walk–get some air,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany yesterday. “You want a less dense area, so pilot closing streets to cars.”