Close some streets in LA to cars – but also reopen hiking trails

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For the publisher: Your support for closing certain streets to most motor vehicles so that people can safely exit for walking and jogging is welcomed. Implementing this proposal will also help mitigate a bad idea your editorial misinterprets – last month’s decision to close most local hiking trails.

As hikers can tell, with the exception of Runyon Canyon and possibly another trail adjacent to Griffith Observatory, all of the other trails were uncrowded and provided enough room to get away from it all.

These fantastic open spaces were fully available at the start of the crisis, they weren’t crowded, and they were more than wide enough for social distancing. One day before the trails closed, I hiked six miles and counted eight other people over a period of almost three hours, none of whom came closer than 12 feet.

Complete shutdown is an unnecessary waste of an essential resource.

Michael H. Miller, Los Angeles

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For the publisher: To create a safer space for pedestrians during the current crisis, the city of Los Angeles should open its 12 golf courses to the public for use for walking.

The overcrowding that led to the closure of trails and beaches demonstrated the enormous shortage of parks in our communities. Until golf is allowed again, why not allow all Angelenos to enjoy these great and beautiful places?

Nancy Lewis, Los Angeles

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For the publisher: Thank you for posting this editorial. As an educator, I see children and families struggling to adjust to an ongoing pandemic and enjoy safe exercise, nature and the outdoors.

Closing streets to cars would allow neighborhoods to maintain a sense of community during this time of social distancing and possibly deter neighborhood crime. Examples like those in Oakland show us possible ways to reinvent our streets.

David Kelly, Los Angeles


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