It CAN Be Done: Shore Blvd. in Astoria Has Been Opened Up for People — And Without Cops!
Who said New Yorkers need their open space to be filled with cops enforcing social distancing rules (oh, right, that was the mayor)?
In any event, a short stretch of a waterfront roadway inside a city park in Queens has been finally closed to cars, creating more than a half-mile of space for residents to recreate while observing social-distancing rules.
Streetfilms has the exclusive footage here from Shore Boulevard:
According to the local State Senator, the NYPD opened up the street for residents.
NYPD will CLOSE Shore Blvd to vehicular traffic to combat tailgating which, despite repeated warnings, was still taking place in defiance of social distancing directives. Will remain open for pedestrians.
Be smarter, folks. It’s not just your own lives at stake
— Sen. Mike Gianaris (@SenGianaris) April 16, 2020
The lack of cops on the scene suggested that the Parks Department or the Department of Transportation were behind the project, but the DOT confirmed that the open street was indeed the work of the police department.
In that case, the open roadway is so different from the mayor’s prior open-streets pilot program, which was scrubbed after only 11 days because the mayor deployed at least two cops per intersection, then said it required too many police resources.
Never utilize the NYPD to do something that a few light, itinerant wooden barriers can do perfectly.
No intimidation, no aggression, no menacing, no overblown budget, no show of force, no racist Ed Mullins tweets. We got this. #ShoreBlvd #Astoria pic.twitter.com/2zrX21z8rT
— CJ Wojtkowski ? (@Tellythecairn) April 16, 2020
In any event, people love it:
The most beautiful street in Queens, Astoria’s Shore Blvd, is now closed to cars and open for walking & biking. It’s a safe, well-distanced, and quiet—would be great to see more street openings throughout the boroughs.
?@TransAlt? ?@StreetsblogNYC? ?@NYCMayor pic.twitter.com/ek77ANkj2H
— Dirk Peters (@halfalpine) April 15, 2020
Here’s the area in question:
An earlier version of this story referred to Mike Gianaris as an Assembly Member when he is in fact a Senator. Streetsblog knows that (and regrets the error)!