NYC is starting to feel like the movie “Outbreak.”
On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio announced the closure of streets in four of the five boroughs from March 27 to March 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the Bronx, the city is shuttering Grand Concourse, between East Burnside Avenue and 184th Street.
This road closure is in Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s district. The councilman explained the purpose is to get people off the road and allow pedestrians to get exercise and do critical errands while maintaining the required six feet of distance to prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus.
“After coordination with the de Blasio administration, I’m proud to report that Grand Concourse, from E. Burnside Avenue to E. 184th Street in my district will be closed to vehicular traffic,” Cabrera said.
The Grand Concourse was designated a Vision Zero priority corridor in 2017 because of heavy traffic and the high number of traffic accidents, especially involving pedestrians. It remains a heavily traversed thoroughfare due to its size and the presence of both residential and commercial spaces.
“This is one of the most important corridors in my district, which is why I strongly support its closing,” Cabrera said. “It is a major commercial area, a major residential area, and it is also an historic area for the Bronx. We need for people to be able to move around while maintaining social distance. Closing this area to vehicles will go a long way in facilitating safe movement of people while protecting their health.”
Cabrera told the Bronx Times that shuttering the road is important and more need to be closed. The safety and health of citizens should come before anything, he said.
Every day the numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus are increasing. As of the end of day on March 26, there were more than 23,000 cases in all five boroughs—4,200 in the Bronx—and 365 deaths.
“I think it’s essential,” Cabrera said. “It’s crucial that we have these spaces that are being created.”
According to Cabrera, road closures need to be coordinated in a safe, responsible manner that allows emergency vehicles to travel.
While people are scared and most have stayed in their homes, the councilman feels things may get worse before they get better.
As a pastor, he has seen many people in his church with the virus, along with members in his family. Sadly, Cabrera does not see this ending by Easter, as President Trump wants.
“We have to see where our numbers are going,” he said. “We have to be data driven. The reality is most people are going to get exposed. We have not hit the peak of this epidemic in NYC. The rest of the nation is like two or three weeks behind.”