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Car-Free Streets

A Round and a Roundy: ‘Open Streets for Schools’ Keeps Kids Safe

12:01 AM EDT on July 28, 2020

How our cartoonist saw the issue. Cartoon: Bill Roundy

Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoon of Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.

Our editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy has been bemusedly watching the current debate over open streets for school kids.

We know that open streets keep kids safe from the coronavirus. And we know that open streets keep kids safe from the ever-present threat of being run over by a reckless driver. So certainly we know that the same thing is true for open, car-free streets in front of schools, right?

Apparently, this basic thinking is lost on car-loving Mayor de Blasio, who claimed last week that he's considering eliminating car traffic on streets around schools even though his actual words suggested he hadn't spent even 10 seconds thinking about doing any such thing. (In case you missed it, we covered the story in collaboration with Chalkbeat.)

The good news is that we've been watching Mayor de Blasio long enough to know his typical pattern: He pretends that suggestions like "open streets for schools" are just fringe thoughts thrown at him by people like us with "narrow" "world views." But then pressure mounts — and when the New York Times finally sides with the narrow-viewers, he implements a terrible version of the very thing we've been talking about. Then he slowly gets around to fixing it, albeit at one-tenth the scale it should be.

In other words, there's hope.

All of Bill Roundy's cartoons are archived here.

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