Access limited at 3 city parks to enhance social distancing

FILE - Hudson River Park at Pier 46.(Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York)

New York City will limit the number of people at three city parks to prevent overcrowding and help ensure social distancing.

Starting Saturday, access will be limited at Hudson River Park's Pier 45 and Pier 46 in Manhattan and at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio during a news conference Friday.

People can wait to enter the parks once others exit. Those waiting must also socially distance.

"We know we had some parks last weekend that were more crowded than they should have been and we know it wasn't some stray individuals, it was the physical layout of the park," said de Blasio.

All three parks have been shamed on social media in recent weeks after images appeared showing mostly young people, without masks, sprawled on blankets with little regard for rules barring people from getting within 6 feet of anyone they don't live with.

"We are going to experiment here and there until we get it right," added de Blasio.

Police will be on hand to enforce the restrictions.

For the millions of cooped-up New Yorkers, the city’s parks have become their backyard, a place to get outside and stretch their legs and get a brief taste of fresh air.

A day earlier, the mayor had hinted in a press conference that there would be restrictions at certain city parks.

However, advocates are urging the city to make sure any new rules are enforced fairly.

“No matter what the demographics or income levels are, we really wanna make sure that every New Yorker has some ability to get outside safely right now,” said Emily Walker of New Yorkers For Parks. 

The NYPD says that on May 2, it issued 43 summonses in parks across the five boroughs, but Mayor de Blasio continues to stress that most New Yorkers are following the rules. 

With the Associated Press


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