BY DANNY HARRIS AND BETSY PLUM
Four months ago, traffic engineers in major cities around the world were asking themselves the same questions: How does a crowded city, reliant on underground trains, function in an airborne pandemic? What would happen if everyone started to drive instead?
Predicting carmageddon, forward leaning cities got out ahead of the problem. From London to Los Angeles, mayors discouraged driving by offering ambitious new alternatives. In Milan, it was Strade AperteI. In Paris, Corona Cycleways. But across the globe, the idea was the same: close a network of streets to cars and open them to people, bikes and transit. City residents responded with enthusiasm and these safe, connected car-free routes filled with people. Bicycle sales boomed, and would-be rail riders shifted to the bus instead.