SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — New road closures went into effect at two major San Francisco parks on Tuesday in an effort to give people looking to exercise more space to work out.
The closures are on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and John F. Shelley Drive in McLaren Park.READ MORE: Hundreds Of SF Homes, Businesses Without Power In SOMA, Mission Bay
City officials say the closures are meant to ensure there is enough space for people who want to exercise but also maintain social distancing.
SF Rec and Park tweeted about the closures that will be in effect for the duration of the now extended stay-at-home order through the end of May.
John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive & John F. Shelley Drive in John McLaren Park are now closed to vehicles 24 hours per day throughout the duration of San Francisco’s Stay Home Order, which has been extended to May 31st. pic.twitter.com/lSSwm1LxEB
— SF Rec and Park (@RecParkSF) April 28, 2020
JFK Drive will be closed to cars from Transverse Drive all the way to Kezar Drive, spanning half the length of the park. The closure is nearly two miles long.
There is also a “runners etiquette” to be followed for those getting outside for exercise.
The Golden Gate Park road closure took effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
With the additional space allowing joggers, walkers and bike riders spread out, people can now literally breathe a little easier.READ MORE: UPDATE: Vallejo Fire Crews Knock Down 4-Alarm Brush Fire After Evacuations Ordered
Tamalpa, a running club in Marin County, offered some tips for proper etiquette.
First off, try to go during off hours when it’s less crowded. Runners should try to stay off the sidewalk, leaving that area to walkers.
In general, KPIX cameras saw runners and bikers on the road itself with faster traffic more towards the middle of the road.
Runners and cyclists are reminded to give others a warning to let people know you’re about to pass.
That ties into the next point: don’t wear headphones. The vast majority of people KPIX saw Tuesday morning had something in their ears.
Runner Lori Janjigian said not wearing headphones is a tough call.
“I think for safety reasons, it’s obviously way safer. But for my own mental health, I choose to wear the headphones,” explained Janjigian.
Area resident Burns Jones is glad the closures finally took effect. He said Golden Gate Park was getting really crowded during the weekends.
“A much more relaxed feel to the park because people are dispersed more than they are when the streets are open,” said Jones. “And again, not having cars and traffic on the roads makes the pace much more manageable.”
“I’ve had nice communication with people as we try to make room for each other. And I think everyone’s just trying to get through this together,” said Janjigian.MORE NEWS: California Reopens: Surviving San Jose Businesses Cheer Lifting Of COVID-19 Rules - 'Something Much, Much Better'
With cars prohibited on the closed streets, runners also do not have to stop at the stop signs.