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San Diego To Reopen Neighborhood Parks For Limited Use

 April 21, 2020 at 11:16 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 One of the most controversial aspects of the quarantine has been the closure of beaches and parks. All the places that we go to unwind and exercise. But there's a Ray of sunshine in the news today is the city of San Diego reopened some neighborhood parks. KPBS reporter John Carroll has more on what's open and what's not. John, thanks for joining us. Speaker 2: 00:19 My pleasure Alison. Speaker 1: 00:21 So now the County laid out the guidelines yesterday to re-open parks and the city of San Diego is taking the lead on this mayor. Faulkner says, quote, we have entered a new phase of this crisis. So tell us what exactly is open as of today. Speaker 2: 00:35 Well he said there's a lot of the end of the tunnel, so I guess the light is beginning to be turned on today. First of all, Alison, I want to tell you, I checked on the city's website and this was kind of astonishing. They list 588 different parks, parklets joint use, parks, NOLs, ghouls I could go on so you can check on that to see what exactly is open and what is not. But generally speaking, parks with more open vistas and wide, wide open spaces are open. Other things like a rec centers, a tennis courts, pools, those things are not open. Speaker 1: 01:17 What about Balboa park? Is it open? Speaker 2: 01:20 So Balboa park is the most interesting one of all. If you go onto that website and you look at the list, they, they sliced up Balboa park into 25 different areas. Generally speaking, most of the park is closed. Um, there just a handful of spaces that are open and that pretty much amounts to the East and West masons of the park, which are again the most open, you know, Vista type areas in the park. Uh, but of course parking lots, not only there, but at every park remain closed. So that is encouraging people to not drive to a park but be able to walk to a park. However, I will tell you, since I live near Balbo park, that on the Western boundary you have sixth Avenue and on the Eastern boundary you have park Boulevard. And on both of those streets, parking is allowed. So theoretically you could drive and park on the street. Speaker 1: 02:16 And even the ones that are open, it's not just all back to normal, is it reminders of the guidelines, Speaker 2: 02:22 right? So they're, what we've been hearing about that you must socially distance, they are strongly encouraging their words that everyone wear facial coverings. Um, they're saying, by the way, that walking, jogging and bicycling are allowed. And by the way, they say that they will check, uh, you know, over the coming days to make sure that people are following this. And if they're not, they'll go back and close things again. Speaker 1: 02:48 So law enforcement is keeping an eye on us and we'll probably let us know if we overstep the bounds. Uh, what about the, what about other cities? What about beaches, for example? Um, I understand that the mayor has spoken with the mayors of other coastal cities to coordinate that. What do we know about the timing on those? It's sort of a patchwork Speaker 2: 03:06 quilt. Um, you may be aware of the fact that the mayor of Cora Nado, uh, called the county's orders, that abuse of power that threatened to erode the public's trust and compliance. Uh, that's one end of the spectrum. Uh, you have other mayors that are expressing interest in reopening their beaches and, uh, access to the water. Um, pretty much what it looks like it's going to come down to here is it's going to be under the Aegis of the counties. So whatever the County finally says is what I think most of the mayors are saying that they'll, they'll adhere to. Speaker 1: 03:45 Well, this is certainly some good news, so thanks for filling us in there, John. You're welcome, Alison. That's KPBS to a Porter. John cattle. Speaker 3: 03:57 [inaudible].

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Neighborhood parks in San Diego are set to partially reopen on Tuesday, a month after the coronavirus pandemic forced their closure. Playgrounds, beaches and regional parks will remain closed for now.
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