City of Santa Monica Fences Palisades Park, To Enforce Social Distancing During Covid-19
Fence around the park will last at least until the end of April, says City Manager Rick Cole. Covid-19 emergency will be with us until then, too.
April 10, 2020
4/5/2020: The City of Santa Monica has closed the crown jewel of Santa Monica parks, Palisades Park. The views from the park are inspiring and memorable, and the park was just too much of a magnet for folks from across Los Angeles County during this new era of Social Distancing.
City Manager Rick Cole, the single most powerful person in Santa Monica politically speaking, released a video on the City's website to explain the latest denial of civil rights to the citizenry.
So many people were coming to the Park to walk, that a fence was necessary. The physical barrier is intended to lower the rate of infection, said Cole.
"After this public health emergency is over, it will be reopened to the public", Cole promised. He added that it will not be over until at least the end of April.
"This health crisis has forced all of us to make agonizing choices," said Rick Cole "Your City of Santa Monica is no different. Some of you believe those orders go too far. Others believe they don't go far enough."
"Regardless of what your opinion might be, it is critical that the City of Santa Monica reflect the thinking of state and federal authorities," Cole said.
It was a difficult decision, because our residents need places to exercise and get air. The park is a magnet and it stretches for a mile and a half. There was no way to enforce it without forcing officers to patrol the 26.4 acre park. The parking has been closed for a week.
Social distancing will be required likely at least until the end of April, Cole said.
"Palisades park has been here for over a century and was donated to the City by one of our city's founders, Sen. Jones."
Cole also noted that many residents have expressed concern about construction in Santa Monica. The construction of housing is important to address the housing crisis, he said. "But it is important they be good neighbors. All construction projects must operate in accordance with health and safety laws."