NYC Gives Up on Street Closures for Open Space as NYPD Sick Calls Rise

The city was closing a major street in four boroughs for nine hours a day, but not enough people took advantage to justify the police need

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New York City is abandoning a pilot project to open major streets in each borough for pedestrian open space, citing the demand on NYPD resources as more and more cops call out sick.

The city had closed a series of major thoroughfares from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily for the last couple of weeks:

  • Manhattan: Park Ave, between 28th and 34th
  • Brooklyn: Bushwick Ave, Johnson to Flushing
  • Queens: 34th Ave, 73rd St to 80th St
  • Bronx: Grand Concourse, between E. Burnside and 184th

But in a statement Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said it was taking more than 80 cops a day to effect the closures, and not enough people were using the newly opened streets to justify that level of resource commitment.

Nearly 19 percent of the NYPD's uniformed officers -- more than 6,700 cops in total -- called out sick Sunday. More than 1,800 cops have tested positive for coronavirus.

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