Following King County and Seattle’s decisions to close active park facilities, in an attempt to get resident compliance with social distancing measures, Renton announced over the weekend it would be doing the same.
The city is closing active recreation areas of parks, which means playgrounds, sport courts, ballfields and other places where social distance guidelines of six feet apart are difficult to maintain.
All parks and trails remain open despite the closure of these parts of parks, except for two sections of the Cedar River Trail that were previously closed from flood damage or potential flooding. The two sections include the lower walk between Wells Avenue North and Bronson Way South and between Cedar River Dog Park and Riverview Park. The latter is due to riverbank erosion from flooding.
On Monday, March 23, the city was beginning to close off these areas using caution tape and use other indicators for park goers. During the Renton City Council Committee of the Whole meeting that day, Councilmember Ryan McIrvin asked how park facility closures are being executed.
Mayor Armondo Pavone said they’ve asked all park entrances be taped off, with the exception of the parking lot at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park so Kidd Valley and Ivars Restaurant could continue takeout, and the exception of parks without fenced entry. And as this goes along, the facilities will be further locked down as needed, including removing certain equipment that would make it hard for those who refuse to comply to use the facilities.
“If we need to take further precautions, we will take basketball hoops down,” Community Services Administrator Kelly Beymer said. “Unfortunately not all our parks have gates, so as best we can, our teams will be patrolling.”
Beymer also said they will be adding signage indicating the closed portions of parks.
All visitors not using these facilities are still asked to practice proper distancing of six feet apart and hand washing measures.
For more information, visit rentonwa.gov.