Motorists once again can drive the boulevards near St. Paul parks that were shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic to allow bicyclists and pedestrians more room to practice social distancing.

The roads that were closed near Como Regional Park, Phalen Regional Park and Cherokee Park reopened Tuesday. They are East Como Lake Drive from Como Boulevard to Lexington Parkway; East Shore Drive from Johnson Parkway to Arlington Avenue; and Cherokee Heights Boulevard from the corner of Baker Street and Chippewa Avenue to Annapolis Street.

The southbound lane of Mississippi River Boulevard, which had also been closed to vehicle traffic, reopened as well.

After Gov. Tim Walz's stay-home orders were lifted, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said the temporary closings would remain in place through Labor Day. No further closings are planned, officials with the city's Public Works Department said.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board reopened its parkways around the lakes and along the Mississippi River to vehicle traffic in early August after closing them this spring to accommodate more bicyclists and pedestrians.

Tim Harlow