NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, reopening may just be a few weeks away in New York City.
So City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants to know, what’s the plan for mass transits, pedestrians and bikers?
“We should have spent the last two months planning for this,” Johnson told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
Johnson says he wants to light a fire under city officials to get them moving on a reopening plan.
“I think we are lacking a sense of urgency on this, and today you saw us introduce legislation for restaurants to be able to use space outside. I don’t think we’ve seen that urgency on planning for beaches,” he said.
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Johnson says one of the most urgent needs is a plan for mass transit.
The mayor, for his part, says he’s been working with the MTA on the issues facing reopening, like social distancing.
“We’re still going to have to figure out how to limit the number of people in any specific subway car and any specific bus, and we’ll work with them on what’s it going to take to do that, so that’s the conversation happening right now,” de Blasio said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the MTA will have to make sure the public can feel comfortable.
“We have to be able to have a mass transit system that is safe, that is clean and is not overcrowded,” he said.
But many riders will need convincing to get back on board.
“I would not take the train, not for a long while,” one person told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
“I definitely don’t feel comfortable taking one and I’m sure that after this is all over, I probably won’t,” another person said.
“Until things get a little more safe, I’m just walking a lot. I’m getting good exercise now,” one man said.
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The mayor says more MTA personnel is returning, meaning more frequent service, but Johnson says the city needs to spell out its plan now.
“If we talk about staggered schedules, if we talk about capacity, if we talk about hand-washing stations inside of the subway stations, if we talk about those things, you will give New Yorkers more of a peace of mind,” Johnson said.
Johnson says the city should also look at more open streets for pedestrians, more protected bike lanes and improved bus service.