I hope you and your family are safe and well. The empathy and resilience New Yorkers have shown during this difficult time has been inspiring. But of course, I would have expected nothing less from our city.

As we begin to recover from the worst of this crisis, the City Council is going to keep looking for ways to move New York City forward. Here are a few:

First, with vehicle traffic slowed down across our city, we should take advantage of the space we have. New York City is full of amazing outdoor and public spaces! That’s why we’ve put out a plan to open 100 miles of streets across New York City exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists — making it safer and easier for people to get around during this pandemic.

We are also working with restaurants and the small business community to expand outdoor seating as our recovery continues, as a lot of other big cities around the world have started to do. This will help our beloved restaurants remain operational in the short term. In some neighborhoods, that could mean closing streets to vehicular traffic to allow space for distanced, outdoor seating. In other neighborhoods, it could mean allowing tables to be set up in parking lots and pedestrian plazas for dining. We know this is not a long-term fix, but it's a good first step to help restaurants while we reimagine outdoor space.

Our restaurants are as iconic as our skyline, and we want them to get through this tough time for the industry. We’re eager to hear what communities propose. I will keep you updated as this important work continues.

Thanks for reading, and keep believing in New York City.

— Corey

Corey Johnson
NYC Council Speaker