With pretty much the entire entertainment industry shut down due to COVID-19, more and more Minnesotans are seeking a break from their "Stay at Home" by heading out on walks.
But while walking, hiking, running and biking are among the reasons that Minnesotans can leave the house under the pandemic restrictions, there have been concerns that some of the Twin Cities' parks and lakes will become too crowded, and pose a risk of coronavirus transmission.
That's why Minneapolis Parks and Recreation has announced it will be closing down two parkways to provide more space so that walkers and runners can maintain the 6-foot social distancing threshold.
West River Parkway will close between Plymouth Avenue and 11th Avenue South from 5 p.m. Friday, with one lane remaining open to provide access to the Stone Arch Bridge parking lot and 200 2nd St. S.
Main Street SE, at St. Anthony Main, will close between Hennepin Avenue and 3rd Avenue SE, with one lane remaining open between 3rd and 6th avenues.
Under the new rules, parkway roads will be dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic, as will walking paths while bike paths will remain bike paths in their current direction.
The closures will remain in place until the end of the governor's Stay at Home order on Apr. 10.
What's more, the Minneapolis Parks and Rec Board Commissioners are also considering other parkway closures during the shutdown.
"I am thrilled we’re able to open road and parkway segments next to our busy central riverfront park, and I look forward to announcing additional parkway closures soon” explained Jono Cowgill, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
“This has been a collaborative effort with the City of Minneapolis in response to the people we serve and their need for social distancing within parks and public spaces.”
Emergency vehicles will still be allowed to use the closed sections of parkways and streets at all times, while access to residential buildings and parking facilities will be maintained.