Minneapolis Park Board opens parkways around Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles to pedestrians

The Minneapolis Park Board approved resolutions Wednesday night to extend the parkway closures to vehicles around Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles and extending the closure of the West River Parkway all the way to Minnehaha Falls.

At its Wednesday night meeting, the board said it would open those roads to pedestrians in an effort to ease social distancing in those popular areas.

Already the Parks Board closed parts of West River Parkway and Main Street Southeast to vehicles. West River Parkway will be closed between Plymouth Avenue North and Minnehaha Falls. One lane will remain open to provide access to the Stone Arch Bridge parking lot. 

The board added that the timeframe of those closures will align with Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order. If the Governor were to extend the order, then the board would extend their resolutions.

Gov. Tim Walz previously called out the lakes areas as being too crowded this past weekend, so the board’s hope is to keep the park areas from getting to crowded, which could require them to close them altogether.

Earlier this week, the park board said it has been overwhelmed with reports of people neglecting social distancing rules, which asks people to main six feet of space around each other and avoiding groups.

"Everyone needs to do their part to protect others and protect themselves," said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura. "We are aware of park closures in other states and would hate to have it come to that in Minneapolis."

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is asking visitors to follow these mandates:

  • Stay at least six feet apart from other park users not part of your household.
  • Do not participate in group activities. No pickup basketball, soccer, football, volleyball or other team sports. No group activities with people from outside your household, like grilling, hammocking or sunbathing in close proximity.
  • Do not drive across the city or metro to visit popular park attractions. 97% of Minneapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Use the parks and open space available in your neighborhood.
  • Use parks in moderation. Visit parks for a walk, bike or roll, but do not hang out at the park all day.
  • Do not use parks if you feel sick or have symptoms, including fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.