How Cities Are Trying to Avert Gridlock After Coronavirus Lockdowns

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As coronavirus lockdowns loosen around the world, city leaders are scrambling to address a new problem: the prospect of gridlock worse than before the pandemic. From Shenzhen to Milan to Austin, officials are trying to coax people back onto buses and subways and reclaim road space for cyclists and pedestrians.

In many cities, officials worry that people will avoid public transit for fear of catching the virus, and decide to drive instead, which will push vehicle traffic higher than ever. Staving off a surge of cars on city streets is important not only to avoid congestion delays, accidents and higher air pollution, which kills an estimated four million people worldwide each year. It’s impossible to stop global warming unless cities sharply reduce pollution from cars, trucks and motorcycles.

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