While Covid-19 cases are currently spiking and leading to the re-closing of segments of the economy, the full extent of the damage the pandemic has caused is still unknown: the future of live-work-play “downtowns” may never be the same, or at least not for some time.
Experiments like closing streets to traffic and finding other uses for public roadways make sense while such roads and spaces are being underutilized. If the work-from-home movement for most non-essential workers becomes permanent, downtowns will lose their luster as economic epicenters and some city streets may have so little traffic that closing certain corridors can be made permanent with little impact on congestion.
If working from home on a large scale is short-lived, but people generally continue to avoid public transportation, automobile use could explode further making measures like congestion pricing popular. There is still too much uncertainty facing the post-Covid-19 world to predict what the future will hold.
Read the article at Forbes.