FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 3, 2020
SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Mayor Carter announced the partial closure of three city streets to vehicle traffic to accommodate public health official guidance on social distancing. The closures will support walking and biking in and around three City of Saint Paul parks areas including Como Lake and Park, Lake Phalen and Park, and Cherokee Park.
“As an avid runner with a newborn daughter at home, I know that getting outdoors is critical to our wellbeing - if we can do so responsibly,” said Mayor Carter. “Our increasingly crowded sidewalks, trails and bikeways demand new spaces and new conversations to ensure we can all safely get out and about.”
“Our parks and public spaces are more important than ever in supporting the health and wellness of our residents,” said Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm. “These temporary closures create more space for residents to walk, run and bike in our community.”
ABOUT ROAD CLOSURES
These road closures are effective as of 6:00 PM, Friday, April 3, through Friday, April 10 at 5:00 PM, the following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic until further notice:
- Como Lake and Park -- East Como Lake Drive from East Como Boulevard to Lexington Parkway
- Lake Phalen and Park -- East Shore Drive from Johnson Parkway to Arlington Avenue
- Cherokee Park -- Cherokee Heights Boulevard from Baker/Chippewa to Annapolis
These closures come in response to resident requests for greater ability to practice social distancing while outdoors. These roads were identified as areas where closures would not impact emergency and essential service traffic amid the Governor’s Stay At Home order. The City does not anticipate any other road closures at this time.
OTHER PARKS AND RECREATION UPDATES
In accordance with the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order 20-20, Saint Paul continues to follow all public health and safety guidelines to support people safely enjoying the outdoors and public spaces. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department has made several changes to its programs, services, and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parks and Recreation Buildings
All Saint Paul Parks and Recreation buildings are closed to the public, including recreation and community centers, municipal athletic facilities, Great River Water Park, and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
Parks and Trails
Saint Paul parks and trails remain open. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation urges all park users to follow these guidelines:
- Do not use parks or trails if you are sick or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Do not use parks or trails if you are at a higher risk of illness.
- Stay at least six feet apart from other park users not part of your household. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
- Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park.
- Avoid touching surfaces.
- Visit the parks nearest to your home rather than drive across the city to visit popular park attractions.
- Do not hang out at the park all day. Recreate, then return home.
- No group activities with people from outside your household.
Saint Paul playgrounds remain open at this time. Families and guardians should be careful to ensure children wash hands before and after touching play structures and maintain six feet of space from other children as much as possible.
Athletic Fields and Courts
Saint Paul’s athletic fields and courts remain open, with restrictions:
- No team or contact sports. People may use and access spaces, but no organized or pickup games.
- Basketball courts remain open at this time.
- Volleyball nets and soccer goals will not be installed. Soccer goals already in place will be removed or secured to be unusable.
- Athletic fields will be not striped or marked.
- Tennis court nets will be installed. Courts will be available for singles matches to allow for social distancing.
Restrooms and Drinking Fountains
Public drinking fountains will not be turned on and restroom buildings will remain closed until further notice. Portable toilets have been placed in parks and are regularly serviced by a vendor. If park users see a toilet that needs attention, please call the vendor directly at the number listed on the structure.
All off-leash dog parks remain open. Please refer to guidance from the CDC related to animal health and safety: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
For the latest Saint Paul Parks and Recreation updates, please visit www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.