The first weekend of L.A.’s “safer at home” order also happened to be the first sunny weekend after days and days of rain. So, of course, Angelenos flocked to Runyon Canyon on Saturday.
A slew of predictable closures followed: MRCA parks, L.A. County trails, golf courses, L.A. City parks facilities and most beach parking lots have all been temporarily blocked to encourage Angelenos to stay at home or limit the number of people in hopes of making social distancing actually possible. Yet amid all this, Runyon, the hiking scene in L.A., somehow remained open.
That’s very likely about to change this weekend: Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park, has penned a letter to the Department of Recreation and Parks that asks for a weekend-only closure of Runyon Canyon Park as well as Lake Hollywood Park, a popular Hollywood Sign viewing spot.
Ryu, in a tweet, says that his office “received many reports of highly crowded trails” over the weekend, and while he considers exercise and outdoor time important, he urges that it can’t come at the cost of social distancing.
Today I’ve called on @LACityParks to close Runyon Canyon Park and Lake Hollywood Park on weekends in order to ensure physical distancing during this pandemic. Let’s make sure we’re all doing our part to end this public health emergency, once and for all. https://t.co/Ok957XdbN3
— David E. Ryu (@davideryu) March 24, 2020
Now, the trail’s closure seems inevitable. On Tuesday night, in an interview with NBCLA, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti said that “Runyon Canyon is one of L.A.’s most beautiful parks, but the crowds this past weekend were too big to be safe. We’re going to close it to the public prior to this weekend.”
No official announcement has been released yet in regards to Runyon and whether it’ll be a full-time or weekend-only closure, but we’ll update this story once we know more. This actually wouldn’t mark the first time the park’s been shut down: Runyon closed for much of the spring and early summer of 2016 for utility work.
If you need a bit of fresh air, the county still encourages you to walk or run in your neighborhood—just make sure to stay at least six feet away from other people, a much easier task if you avoid L.A.’s most popular outdoor spots.
-All LA County multi-use trails are closed (complete list: https://t.co/dzyldDMa6l)
-All play & sports amenities (playgrounds, courts, etc) are closed
-LA County golf courses are closed
-Parks locations remain open as outdoor-only facilities
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) March 24, 2020