Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu called on the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks Tuesday to close Runyon Canyon Park and Lake Hollywood Park on weekends in order to ensure physical distancing and to maintain public health during the coronavirus pandemic.
Public health experts urge everyone to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from one another in order to slow the spread of the virus, but Ryu said that recent weekend crowd sizes at the parks have made compliance “near impossible.”
“Making this request pains me greatly. I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment off the 101 Freeway, and our city’s parks were my only access to outdoor space,” Ryu wrote in a letter to department General Manager Mike Shull. “As you know, I have been a long-standing champion for parks and open space and have prioritized park access as chair of the City Council committee on parks. However, after discussing the matter with public health experts, I believe this is a necessary step.”
Parks officials were not immediately available for comment when contacted by City News Service.
Runyon Canyon Park and Lake Hollywood Park are both located in Ryu’s Fourth Council District, which includes the Hollywood Hills and parts of the San Fernando Valley.
On Sunday, Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the closure of all beach parking lots and golf courses, and on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom closed parking lots of state parks. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has also closed its trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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