MPRB Update 05-07-2020: Parkway closures continue through June

Board passes resolution allowing up to $250,000 to be spent on a series of parkway closures enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sections of four parkways with little or no residential access will transition from one-lane to full closures to provide more space for social distancing and reduce costs

At its May 6, 2020 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners passed Resolution 2020-202, which grants MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura authority to spend up to $250,000 on a series of parkway closures enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sections of eight parkways or park roads totaling 21 lane miles are closed to motor vehicles and open to pedestrians to allow more space for trail users to follow social distancing practices and limit the spread of COVID-19. The authorization to spend up to $250,000 includes costs already incurred for the closures, which started in late March. The closures will remain in place until the $250,000 is depleted, which MPRB staff estimate will take until at least the end of June.

“We recognize the important role parks play during this national health crisis and we will continue to look at ways to provide safe, close-to-home outdoor spaces throughout the city, for all Minneapolis residents,” said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura.

MPRB staff are working on determining a more precise time frame for how long the $250,000 limit will allow parkways to remain closed and identifying additional funding sources that could continue to fund the closures.

MPRB staff are also evaluating the closures to improve the trail user experience and reduce costs. Beginning today, Thursday May 7, sections of four parkways – Bde Maka Ska, Cedar, Nokomis and West River – will begin transitioning from one-lane to full closures in areas with little or no residential access impacts. The shift to full closures provides more space for social distancing and will lower costs by reducing equipment rental needed to maintain the closures. Up-to-date maps of every closure in the Minneapolis park system are posted on the MPRB Road Closures page.

“Minneapolis consistently ranks among the most physically active cities in America, and it’s important to continue providing spaces for residents to get outdoors and maintain social distancing,” said MPRB President Jono Cowgill.

The MPRB asks all trail users to follow the rules for parkways closed to motor vehicle traffic:

  • Parkway roads are dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic; cyclists should remain on bike trails.
  • Bike paths will remain bike paths in their current direction, if applicable.
  • Walking paths are dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic.

Parkways Closed to Motor Vehicles are for Pedestrians Only

Once closures go into effect:

  • Parkway roads will be dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic; cyclists should remain on bike trails.
  • Walking paths will be dedicated to two-way pedestrian traffic.
  • Bike paths will remain bike paths in their current direction, if applicable.

Exceptions and Conditions

  • Emergency vehicles will be allowed on closed sections of parkways and streets at all times.
  • Service, delivery and sanitation vehicles will be allowed on closed sections of parkways and streets as part of their regular operations. Vehicle drivers will be required to move and replace barricades.
  • Access to residential buildings and residential parking facilities on closed sections of parkways and streets will be maintained.

Social Distancing

The Minneapolis Health Department, Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control offer the following guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 when visiting parks:

  • Bring a water bottle. MPRB water fountains remain turned off for the health and safety of park users.
  • Bring disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer. MPRB restroom buildings remain closed.
  • Do not use parks if you feel sick or have symptoms, including fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow, don’t cough into your hands.
  • Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park or trail.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people that are not a part of your household.

Stay Updated

Visit minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus for more information on the MPRB’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Receive timely email updates by visiting minneapolisparks.org/subscribe, entering your email and selecting the “COVID-19” topic in the “News Updates” section.