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Mass. DCR Is Blocking Cars From 3 Roads Near Parks To Give Cyclists, Pedestrians More Space For Social Distancing

A young boy digs in the grass with stick in the Boston Public Garden in April. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A young boy digs in the grass with stick in the Boston Public Garden in April. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

To give pedestrians and cyclists more physical space for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will close sections of three Boston-area parkways to vehicular traffic.

The department said Friday the changes are designed to decrease opportunities for people to come in close contact with each other or congregate in large groups in state parks.

Starting Saturday, segments of three parkways will open for pedestrians: William J. Day Boulevard between Farragut Road and Shore Drive in South Boston; Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in Jamaica Plain; and Greenough Boulevard between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in Watertown. Those spots will no longer allow vehicles by end of day Friday.

The DCR will also work to reduce parking capacity at state parks, starting Saturday and continuing for the foreseeable future.

The department advised residents to visit parks near their homes, go only for short periods of time, and opt for walking, running and biking over longer-term activities like camping. Visitors should refrain from spending time in a park if it is crowded, DCR officials said, and should stay in small groups — avoid gatherings of 10 people or more. The department also said people should participate in non-contact sports and maintain personal hygiene, like washing their hands for at least 20 seconds.

People who feel ill, people who are part of an at-risk group and people over the age of 70 should stay home, the DCR added.

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Elie Levine Twitter Freelance Digital Producer
Elie Levine is a freelance digital producer for WBUR.

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