Baker-Polito Administration Announces Additional Measures to Reduce Crowding at State Parks

The following is a media release from the Governor’s office submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON –  In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced several new measures throughout the state parks system ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.

To expand pedestrian and cyclist access, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will open segments of three parkways in the Greater Boston Metro Area for recreational use starting Saturday, April 11, 2020 at dawn.

These segments will close to vehicular traffic on Friday, April 10, 2020 at dusk, and after the weekend, DCR will evaluate the effectiveness of the measure.

Additionally, the agency will work to reduce parking capacity at state park properties statewide starting Saturday, April 11, 2020, which will continue indefinitely.

Importantly, the measures will reduce close contact of park users, and aid in the reduction of large concentrations of people on adjacent sidewalks and paths. Parkways that will open to pedestrians and cyclists include:

  • William J. Day Boulevard between Farragut Road and Shore Drive in the City of Boston (South Boston);
  • Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in the City of Boston (Jamaica Plain); and,
  • Greenough Boulevard (Little Greenough) between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in the Town of Watertown.

While visiting state park properties, the public should visit locations that are located near their homes, limit their excursions to short periods of time, and only participate in recreational activities that are transitory in nature, such as walking, jogging and biking.

This will allow access to the outdoors while continuing to ensure social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19.

DCR continues to stress that if a park is crowded, visitors should visit a different location or return at a later date or time.

The state parks system has over 450,000 acres of property, and every region of the state contains multiple parks to explore that may be less busy than others in the area. DCR also advises visitors of state parks to stay within solitary or small groups, avoid gatherings of ten or more people, participate in only non-contact recreational activities, practice healthy personal hygiene, such as handwashing for at least 20 seconds, and, stay home if ill, over 70, and/or part of a vulnerable population.

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