In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we all need to do our part practicing social distancing. But that can prove difficult on crowded sidewalks and busy bike lanes -- which is why Safe on the Road has been advocating for open streets, encouraging city leaders to close select streets to car traffic and open them to pedestrians and cyclists to create more space for people to be safe on the road.
We've been urging the Mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza, to follow the lead of many other cities and bring open streets to our city. We've shared our Open Streets Implementation Guide and worked with partners like the Providence Streets Coalition, RI Bike, and Walk PVD to share about the benefits of this policy. More than 200 people signed a Change.org petition in support of open streets. And today, we celebrate, as advocacy leads to action! According to the Providence Journal, the city will soon be closing streets to car traffic to make space for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely social distance. As a spokeswoman for the city said, "“This creates a controlled, safe environment for pedestrians and people riding bicycles, which is a top priority." We are thrilled!
Hoping to bring open streets and extended sidewalks to your community? We’ve got resources to support your advocacy — check out our implementation guide and our email template to send to your city officials. Questions? Let us know how we can help!