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Articles by Mario Koran

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A jogger makes use of one of Oakland's "slow streets."

This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

With many residents working from home and children out of school, the city of Oakland, California, is closing off 74 miles of its streets to passing cars, making it easier for residents to run, bike, or play.

Oakland’s “slow streets” initiative, announced on April 9 by Mayor Libby Schaaf, sets aside up to 10 percent of the city’s streets for recreation. Starting last weekend with four specific intersections, affected streets will be closed to thru-traffic. A list of street closures was published by Oakland’s department of transportation.

“Because of the reduction in car traffic, we will be closing off a number of streets so that bicyclists and pedestrians can spread out and take in fresh air safely on Oakland streets, free of cars,” Schaaf said.

Like many Californians, Bay Area residents have flooded parks and local beaches since a shelter-in-place order took effect in mid-March, prompting officials to close parks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

City officials hoped the slow streets initiative — which they ... Read more