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Giving Compass' Take:
• Mario Koran reports that Oakland closed off 74 miles of city streets to allow pedestrians and cyclists more room to move and properly social distance.
• How can funders help to create more spaces for people to get outside while still maintaining a safe distance from others?
• Find out why some people have not been social distancing.
With many residents working from home and children out of school, the city of Oakland, California, is closing off 74 miles of its streets to passing cars, making it easier for residents to run, bike, or play.
Oakland’s “slow streets” initiative, announced on April 9 by Mayor Libby Schaaf, sets aside up to 10 percent of the city’s streets for recreation. Starting last weekend with four specific intersections, affected streets will be closed to thru-traffic. A list of street closures was published by Oakland’s department of transportation.
Like many Californians, Bay Area residents have flooded parks and local beaches since a shelter-in-place order took effect in mid-March, prompting officials to close parks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
City officials hoped the slow streets initiative — which they are calling an emergency measure — would give residents a safe way to get outdoors for Easter weekend while area parks were restricted, but Schaaf cautioned residents that the initiative does not mean public health guidance should be ignored.
Read the full article about opening city streets to pedestrians by Mario Koran at Grist.