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Majority Of NYC Voters Would Give Up Parking For More Open Streets, New Poll Says

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

Majority Of NYC Voters Would Give Up Parking For More Open Streets, New Poll Says

NYC streets have become a new lifeline during the pandemic: offering much-needed outdoor space for exercise and recreation, dining and more.

And most New Yorkers are ready to keep that going — and expand it more — even if that results in less parking space. And that’s saying a lot, considering how notoriously difficult it is to find a spot (and then move it every other day) in the city.

Bu that’s what a new poll from Transportation Alternatives and the Siena College Research Institute recently revealed. The study asked registered New York City voters between November and December 2020 a series of questions about adding protected bus lanes, wider sidewalks, greenery, and more to streets in their neighborhood…even if meant sacrificing parking spots. Here’s what they discovered:

  • 83 percent of voters support adding more trees and greenery to their neighborhood, including 87 percent of Hispanic voters, even if it results in fewer parking spaces.
  • 84 percent of voters support adding more space for children to play in their neighborhood, including 90 percent of Bronx voters, even if it results in fewer parking spaces.
  • 68 Percent of Voters, Including 61 Percent of Car Owners, Support Adding Protected Bike Lanes In Their Neighborhood
  • 56 Percent of Voters Support Using Parking Spaces To Build Protected Bus Lanes

As for the new Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs? 64 percent of voters say outdoor seating for restaurants is an important use of curb space in their neighborhood, including 78 percent of voters in Manhattan; and 63 percent of voters support the expansion of Open Streets in their neighborhood, including 76 percent of voters under age thirty-five.

“We need to reimagine our streetscape to make New York a more livable city, and this poll shows that New Yorkers know that too and they want city government to act boldly to make it happen, said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson of the results.

“Open Streets and Open Restaurants opened our eyes to the untapped potential when it comes to using our street space in more fun and more efficient ways for New Yorkers and the small businesses we need to support. Bike lanes and bus lanes are good policy and good politics too, and the Council will keep fighting for them.”

You can ready more details about the study here.

featured image source: Unsplash

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