Cities are making COVID-era street changes permanent. Some are facing pushback.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Paris barred most cars from the majestic road that goes past the Louvre Museum, then months later announced it would keep it that way. New York followed suit, making permanent a program that clears space on public roads for walking, biking and, in the case of 34th Avenue in Queens, Mexican folk dance classes.

In San Francisco, officials are weighing whether to keep part of John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park closed to cars, prompting a tussle among drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and a fine arts museum that lost easy public access to its facilities.

Leaders in other cities are pushing to do the same, seeing an opportunity to cement progress in making streets safer, more enjoyable and less polluting. The moves have also roiled long-running debates about the role of the automobile and the purpose of public streets.

In Washington, the D.C. Council in June appealed to the National Park Service to keep cars off a scenic stretch of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park, a move also supported by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). But one initial supporter of the idea, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), tapped the brakes after opposition emerged, showing the complexities of limiting car travel, even in a city where local and federal officials have sought to emphasize other modes of transportation.

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