The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will close parkways to cars along Bde Maka Ska while reopening those along Lake Harriet so seniors and others at special risk from coronavirus can visit by car during Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order.
The northbound lane of West Bde Maka Ska Parkway between Richfield Road and Lake Street will be closed Monday morning to give pedestrians enough space for social distancing.
The southbound lane of East Bde Maka Ska Parkway between 36th Street and Lake Street was closed last week. Both closures will last through May 4, the end of the stay-at-home order.
Lake Harriet Parkway, which was closed to traffic since late March, will reopen Monday morning. Commissioner Brad Bourn, who represents the district encompassing the lake, said the change would provide “safe spaces for the elderly, those with limited physical mobility and people with compromised autoimmune systems, who are all at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, to enjoy the Grand Rounds from the safety of their automobiles.”
Emergency vehicles, delivery workers and people who live in surrounding homes will still be able to drive on closed parkways, according to the Park Board. Park Board officials are asking cyclists to stay on bike paths.
A section of West River Parkway between Plymouth Avenue and N. 4th Avenue in the North Loop was reopened last week upon the request of Commissioner Kale Severson, who said he was concerned that opening parkways would draw more pedestrians to the river.
“I don’t want to encourage people to be going out and congregating in our parkways,” Severson said, adding that the Park Board “should be encouraging people to walk in their neighborhood or around their block.”