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Duluth to increase pedestrian opportunities

Brandon Weathers
Updated: April 02, 2020 10:34 PM

Outdoor recreation is allowed and even encouraged under the stay-at-home mandate.

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 "Absolutely get out and recreate, you want to maintain your physical and mental health," said Kim Pleticha, assistant director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.   

But with more people stepping out for fresh air, some city and state parks have become overcrowded.  

       

Pleticha said, "What we'd really like people to do is exercise really good judgement and common sense here. If you pull into a state park and you see that it's very crowded, that's probably not the place to go. That is not keeping within the governor's order." 

The City of Duluth is trying to redirect the heavy traffic they've seen in certain areas around town such as along the lakewalk. Seven Bridges Rd is one of a few that have been closed off for bike and pedestrian use only. City of Duluth's manager of Parks and Recreation Jessica Peterson said this trend is likely to become more common.

Peterson said, "We are continuing to look at other opportunities to close roads to continue to increase pedestrian and bike opportunities in town."  

The city has also begun displaying signs providing examples of what six feet of distance between pedestrians looks like in practice, such as the length of a bike or a pair of skies. If a certain trail doesn't allow for this kind of space between two passing people, it may be time to find a new route. 

     

Pleticha said it's also important to keep your activities as close to home as possible. She said, "This is not the time to be driving 100 miles away from home to go to your favorite state park. This is a time to stay close to home and enjoy what's near you."

Both Pleticha and Peterson stress the importance of spending time outdoors during this time of isolation, but both insist that we need to be careful about how we go about it.

"To spend some time outside in nature is really important to our public health as a whole so long as we can do it safely and respectfully of everyone else," Peterson said.

 

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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