Minneapolis parkways see more closures to accommodate social distancing

Crystal Bui
Updated: April 08, 2020 03:47 PM
Created: April 07, 2020 07:04 PM

Closures for Cedar Lake Parkway and Lake of the Isles Parkway -- joining the ones already in place for Lake Harriet Parkway, Lake Nokomis Parkway and Main Street SE -- are creating some confusion among drivers. These traffic changes will stay in effect as long as Gov. Tim Walz's emergency 'stay at home' order is in place.

On Tuesday, the warmer temperatures brought out bikers, walkers, runners and joggers, all hoping to make the most of the many parks and recreational areas. 

"There is tons of free time and the only place we can all go is outside," said Tren Miller, who lives in Minneapolis. 

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"People were kind of zig-zagging, some people would follow the rules, and others just didn't. But to no fault of their own, I think they needed to get outside, right," said Karen Earl, who lives in Minneapolis. 

But that "need" to be outside is also creating problems in Minnesota.  Walz said this week, while many are following social distancing guidelines, there's one area that still needs improvement.

"We're not so good in social distancing in recreation areas right now," Walz said.

As Cedar Lake Parkway and Lake of the Isles Parkway roads were closed to motor vehicle traffic to create more space for pedestrians. Many of those whom were out embraced the changes. 

"We should do this on all lakes because neighbors really love it," Earl said.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board says parking lots adjacent to the existing and new parkway closures will also be closed in order to limit parkway closures from becoming regional destinations. 

The changes: 

  • 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.

Cedar Lake Parkway:

The northbound lane along the lake and adjacent parking lots will be closed to motor vehicles and open for pedestrians between Sunset Boulevard and Cedar Lake Road. The southbound land will remain open for one-way motor vehicle traffic.

West River Parkway:

The northbound lane along the river will close to motor vehicles and open for pedestrians between 46th Avenue S and 11th Avenue S. The southbound lane will remain open to one-way motor vehicle traffic.

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