Streetsblog SF has been covering Oakland's plan to close 74 miles of roadway to thru car traffic and open them up to pedestrians and cyclists who are trying to get around and recreate responsibly during the COVID-19 crisis. Here's what we were told by the site's editor, Roger Rudick on Tuesday.
Mayor de Blasio wrongly characterized — and perhaps flat-out lied about — Oakland's experiment with opening scores of miles of roadway for pedestrians, which features barricades to alert drivers that they cannot enter.
"I asked the NYPD and Department of Transportation to analyze the Oakland plan [and] as I understand it, they said that streets were closed off, but they didn't put up any barricades," the mayor said on Tuesday.
Parts of Oakland (which has a neighborhood called Brooklyn, for Pete's sake!) are just as dense as residential neighborhoods in New York, dispelling another of Mayor de Blasio's myths about the program.
New York can't do anything like what Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf has done, de Blasio said on Tuesday, because "adamantly ... we are just profoundly different than those other cities." Last week, the mayor had presaged his own team's evaluation, saying, "Oakland is obviously, a big American city, but it's not New York City. It has nowhere near the population or the density we have." (De Blasio's experiment with 1.5 miles of car-free streets ended in just 11 days.)
By the time Oakland's plan fully rolls out, the city of half a million people will have 74 miles of space for socially responsible recreation and travel. Mileage like that will certainly come in handy if they mayor is forced to close beaches this summer, as the NY Post reported on Tuesday.