An urgent request from the Mayor has added Runyon Canyon to the growing list of closures throughout L.A.
In an effort to keep locals from overcrowding parks, beaches, and a number of other outdoor areas, city officials continue to shut down a number of public spaces to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Most of the hiking trails in Los Angeles were closed earlier this week and the city of Santa Monica announced that it would fine those ignoring ‘safer at home’ orders.
Though Runyon Canyon, which is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Recreations and Parks, managed to dodge temporary closures — people have continued to crowd its trails which caught the attention of Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“Runyon Canyon is one of LA’s most beautiful parks, but the crowds this past weekend were too big to be safe,” said Garcetti. “We’re going to close it to the public prior to this weekend.”
L.A. City Councilman David Ryu sent a letter to the LADRP on Tuesday evening calling for the closure of Runyon, as well as the closure of Lake Hollywood Park.
“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. 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,” said Ryu in his letter.
The closure went officially into effect early Wednesday afternoon and will remain closed indefinitely. City Councilman Ryu confirmed the park’s closure via Twitter asking Angelenos to do their part in “bending the curve.”
City workers locked up Runyon Canyon Park due to the Coronavirus. People can no longer hike or park at the popular destination. Many hikers we spoke with are disappointed but understand. Story @CBSLA at 11am. pic.twitter.com/rIfd8yo80K
— Kandiss Crone (@KandissCroneTV) March 25, 2020
Angelenos are still permitted to walk around their neighborhoods, walk dogs, and partake in essential activities like grocery shopping or visiting the doctor! It’s important to practice proper social distancing measures when outdoors which include keeping six feet away from others and not leaving home when sick.
Until next Runyon! We’ll miss you…
Also published on Medium.