Due to crowding and refusal to follow social distancing guidelines, Seattle Parks and Rec announced late this afternoon that the parking lots are now closed at several popular Seattle parks.
The parks themselves are still open, but you must be able to walk or bicycle to the park. This is an attempt to reduce the large numbers of people in the parks to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The parks currently affected are:
Gas Works Park
I’m really bummed that uncaring people have ruined this for everyone with their inconsiderate actions. By closing off parking lots these parks are now completely inaccessible to everyone with mobility issues.
Magnuson and Golden Gardens are my go-to parks when I need to get out for a bit, and both parks have nice spots to just sit in your car and enjoy the view. Now we can’t even do that.
I’m surprised Carkeek isn’t on the list, so I expect this will be expanded sooner rather than later.
Last night Governor Inslee issued a statewide stay at home order. The order is in effect until April 6th.
Luckily parks are still on the allowed activities list, as long as you follow all other precautions, which include not going if you are sick or know you have been exposed, and keeping at least six feet away from other people.
Here’s the list of activities that are still allowed under the new order:
Today the Snohomish County Executive made a decision to partially close Snohomish County parks to reduce the recent crowding at many of them. Previously just the playgrounds were closed.
All restroom facilities are being closed.
Parks that have parking lots with a gate will have the gates shut and locked. Such parks are still open for use, but you need to be able to walk or bicycle to the park. This will cut down on the number of people in the parks.
This means crowds may increase at parks without gates. Be responsible and keep your distance or more draconian measures will be taken.
Too many people who are flocking to Seattle area parks and other places like Snoqualmie Falls to avoid going stir crazy are ignoring social distancing precautions.
Police have been forced to disband large groups at places like Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill and Alki Beach. People are also ignoring the closure of all active recreation facilities like playgrounds and basketball courts.
The city is already discussing the possibility of completely closing all parks if people continue to disregard distancing safety measures. Stiff fines and potentially jail time would be imposed on anyone ignoring park closures if they are shut down.
We need to maintain access to parks so we have a place to get outside in these stressful times! Don’t ruin it for everyone. Keep your distance from other people at all times.
What you can do: