As the Covid-19 crisis wears on, a surprising tool has emerged in the effort to slow transmission: city streets. The car has long been king in America’s cities, with spacious roadways edged by narrow sidewalks. But with many sidewalks barely large enough for the six feet required for social distancing purposes, urban residents now find themselves struggling to comply with regulations during even a brief grocery trip. Many Americans are looking at city planning in a different way. Projects that in the past might have been delayed by years of study or vociferous objection from car drivers are now being installed in a matter of weeks or days. Mayors who once might have equivocated about balancing transportation needs are firmly declaring that streets that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists are not cute amenities, but necessities for a happy populace and a thriving economy.
Photo: Maksym Kaharlytskyi