Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks officials closed Runyon Canyon Park Wednesday in another effort to keep people safe from the coronavirus.
Parks officials said Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular parks in the city, and group programs and recreational opportunities are heavily frequented by visitors.
City Councilman David Ryu called for the closures of Runyon Canyon Park on Tuesday as well as Lake Hollywood Park, but the latter has not yet been closed, officials said. Ryu only called for weekend closures, but Wednesday’s closure is all-encompassing.
“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.”
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.”
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.