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'Keep Parks Safe' -- Authorities plead with visitors to follow social distancing rules or face closures

Original post made on Mar 28, 2020

Across the Bay Area, parks and open spaces, including all San Mateo County parks, have been shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Open space agencies urge people to follow precautions so that more parks don't follow suit.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 27, 2020, 5:04 PM

Comments (47)

Posted by Jack
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 28, 2020 at 9:40 pm

"don’t litter and don’t urinate in parks. ...
Restrooms ... are closed.

I wonder why people might be urinating in the park?

Posted by Stay Out of Rancho San Antonio!
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2020 at 8:43 am

I live very close-by the park.
The lots were full by sunrise! WTH people.
I watched two "group runs" of 6 people, all in a straight line huffing and puffing each other's exhaust.
Both groups were older (40-60s) women. Good lord ladies, maybe run solo for a little while????



Posted by Fair
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:22 am

I see (full teams) teens and 20 somethings playing basketball and soccer everyday at parks and local high schools. You need to shut the parks down. Our entitled community is not doing the right thing!

Posted by @Fair
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:35 am

Please state which parks you see this and the time of day, specifically.
I walk to several schools and parks in our area each day and I have not found that to be the case, but it's always good to know if there's a hot spot.

Posted by @Fair
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:39 am

Also remember, many times families play basketball or kick the soccer ball around together. As long as people are distant from others as directed by the order it's not a worry or any kind of violation.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:48 am

So you live in Monte Loma but by your own words:
"I see (full teams) teens and 20 somethings playing basketball and soccer everyday at parks and local high schools."

So how many high schools schools and how parks are you going to each day and why?!? Don't you understand the shelter in place order??
You certainly cannot be walking to them all. Stay home! You can exercise starting from your own front door, stay out of your car!

"Our entitled community is not doing the right thing!"
Indeed, and might I add some are blind to that fact.

Posted by Rancho San Antonio, next hot spot
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2020 at 7:19 am

I was there, sadly, for a short period of time yesterday. I walked in through the St Joseph's avenue/280 underpass and was immediately passed by a runner, 3 feet off, heavily panting as he passed. I could feel the breeze as he huffed and puffed by. I saw people trying but failing to run together 6 feet apart. I saw runners snaking through walkers and even a string of runners all running in a straight line.

If the parking lots are not closed we will only ensure that Rancho is the next community hot spot. We cannot continue to entice people into tight spots. The trails are simply not wide enough and people are acting stupid.

The State Parks have shut off vehicles from entering the parks because they listen to the medical experts. MidPen is dawdling on this decision and this will in fact cause more deaths. People either will not or cannot always give enough space on tight trails, and when the park is packed with people who drove in, it's set up to be the next community transmission hot spot.

Posted by Everyone please read THIS
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:18 am

If you are getting in your car to drive to some outside area, YOU are the problem.

Stop it!

Start and stop your walks/runs/rides at your front door.
As a high risk senior you are playing with my life. Please!

Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2020 at 2:35 pm

I read that the police in Florida arrested a Christian megachurch pastor for holding services despite that state's shutdown order. If the police can arrest a pastor for flaunting public safety, surely they can handle these kids. Shutting down the park to the whole community is not fair when only a few low IQ people are flaunting the law.

Posted by pgw
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm

My neighborhood streets are filled with people, many of whom are not too considerate regarding social distance. Taking a walk around the block is risky. On the other hand, at the right time of day (some) public parks have a lot more space to spread out, so I can go for a long walk while keeping my distance.

Closing parks entirely means reducing the available space and taking away options to spread out. That's counterproductive.

Driving to parks is not the problem. A lot of people going to the parks at the same time is a problem, which can be partially addressed by restricting available parking. But ultimately, if people were going to crowd together in parks, they are now going to crowd together in their neighborhood, so there's nothing gained.

Posted by Rancho = Corono Horror Show
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:31 am

I cannot believe MidPen is keeping the lots open which attracts the crowds.
I tied it out yesterday. At the 280 undercrossing as I was walking in, a runner brushed by me breathing fast and heavily. As I got to the bridge at the creek I saw the crowds. Runners were cruising past walkers as they belched their exhaust into the air that people would then walk right through.
A daisy chain of 5 then ran past in single file, all breathing and exhaling the air from the person in front of them.
A solo person went by and spit, another blew his nose into nothing, aka snot rockets.
The width of the trail and the vegetation on the side made it impossible for me to avoid them.

There is a fallacy about Rancho being an open area where people can spread out. In fact it is an area where people are funneled together on narrow trails, unable to spread out as runners and bikers go quickly but closely by, heavily breathing

With hardly any car traffic and sidewalks I can easily get away from anyone crowding me. Even if it means walking down the middle of the road. Rancho is not that way at all. You WILL breath the exhaust breath of's inescapable

*MidPen closed Windy Hill parking lot for health concerns. Enticing people to come from out of the area and crowd the trails of Rancho is unthinking and IMO negligent.
I'm staying out until they close the lots. Keep it open, just close the lots. People are coming in from all areas.

Posted by Re to: Everyone please read THIS
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:20 am

I don't think it's fair to those who live in more dense-packed apartments to be told they can't drive out somewhere when some have large yards (or any yard) or immediate outdoor access, and yet many don't.

Closing lots actually just leaves access to more affluent parts of our community. Rather, put up signs and fine those who break social distancing.

More equitable and still safe rules would be:
1) Don't leave Santa Clara County, since part of the shelter in place is preventing accidental spread
2) Only go where you see people practicing proper 6+ feet of distancing, if not, leave and find somewhere else or go different hours.

Posted by I agree with lot closings
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:31 am

They closed Windy Hill. MidPen made the call because of Coronavirus concerns. They continue to leave the biggest, most crowded park's lots open though, drawing people from all over who then go to our stores on the way home.
I guess the locals of Portola Valley are more important to protect than the locals in Cupertino?

People can still go to these parks, even drive to them, parking farther away and walking in. That will spread the concentration of people out from one or two access points, or cause people to seek out less crowded parks.

We can do this, not crowd into the same parks for two or three weeks. It's a VERY simple sacrifice and it's not like we're not taking water from people. It's about not being selfish, avoiding crowds and not spreading the disease.

MidPen is NOT playing their part by allowing the crowds to converge in their lots. Closing the lots eases the concentration choke points while still allowing full use of the parks

Posted by @ I agree with lot closings
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:07 am

"full use of the parks" for those who afford to live by them. Those in Portola Valley and Cupertino can enjoy their private publicly funded park, meanwhile apartment rows in Mountain View are told to keep their children inside for the next month.

There's a way to enforce rules and yet allow people to be outside for fresh air and exercise.

Posted by MVresident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:21 am

The other trail that needs to be cut off is Stevens Creek. And closing the parking lots at Shoreline. I live near both, tried to walk and/or bike and it was too dangerous. Speeding cyclists right next to large families with little kids. There was no way anyone could practice effective social distancing. One incident that stands out is a cyclist going fast and when someone yelled to him to slow down because of pedestrians, he yelled a nasty explicative, and kept on speeding. The safest places to walk are near our own homes. Boring yes? But we can put up with boring for the short term, to save people from getting really sick and dying in the long term.

Posted by So lets open the beaches
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:54 am

This isn't about giving anyone preference.

Do you think they should open up the beach parking lots? Right now only the wealthy can enjoy them?
Think! It's an airborne VIRUS, not a social equality opportunity.

*****Given the numbers projected by the Fed govt of 100-200K deaths from Jan to June, if 150K, that's the same deaths as 10 x 911 attacks per month for 5 months.

2-3 911's EVERY WEEK, and you're worried about something not being fair because someone else lives by it?!?!
For a few weeks!?!?!?!?

Posted by MidPen: Please!
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:20 pm

This is life and death. PLEASE close your parking lots for just 3 weeks...PLEASE!!!

Posted by 6 Feet Not Enough
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:12 am

Newest information shows that 6 feet is for relaxed natural breathing.
Breathing from physical exertion(running/cycling) coughing or sneezing is now showing you need up to 6 meters since the droplets are like projectiles when people are breathing heavily.

Close all the crowd attracting Open Space parking lots for a just a few weeks. They are NOT safe at this time. Period!
MidPen, this is on YOU!

Trust science: Web Link

Posted by Beelzebub
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Folks, we are only as strong as our weakest link.....100 people....90 people stay at home, 10 don't....those 10 effectively rendered the efforts of those 90 who stayed home as irrelevant as any one of those 10 or all 10 continue to pass the virus along.
Now expand that same thought across your across the world....the curve will never flatten out...this is the grim reality.....I am ready to collect.....

UNLESS YOU and YOU and YOU do something about your fellow 10...... :)

Posted by But...
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:33 pm

To the above poster, when we SLOW the spread down across the globe, it gives our healthcare system a chance to effectively treat the sick people causing death rates do decrease, and maybe even time to come up with a vaccine.
That scenario shows just how great the original 90 can do by staying home, regardless of the 10.

It's not about eliminating it, it's about SLOWING it so we can treat those that are sick and not be overwhelmed.

Posted by UnfairToThePoor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:53 pm

It's easy to say "Stay home!" when you're rich and have a backyard and house like many in Mountain View. Some of us are trapped in apartments with circulating central air and neighbors across thin walls. We're breathing each others' aerosols all day, touching the doors to our building's garbage room and/or bins. We're trapped in Petri dishes and y'all are trying to deprive us the joy of fresh air, nature, and walks in places that are actually significantly more empty than our apartments? What can I say, you all are cruel and we will remember this the next time there's a vote that benefits home owners on the ballot.

Posted by Want to be fair, don't just close the parking lots, close the entire park if you care more about con
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:18 pm

Want to be fair, don't just close the parking lots, close the entire park if you worry more about contagion than equity.

If you find that to be excessive, so is denying poor people access to parks, rather than developing safety rules that all must follow while at the parks.

Posted by Neighborhood Public Parks
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:21 pm

@Unfair: San Mateo County is now mandating no outdoor activity farther than 5 miles from one's residence. This isn't because they want to be unfair to people who don't live in Woodside, it's because they CARE about the people who don't live in Woodside and they know the coronavirus is a temporary game changer and that mixing members from different communities ENCOURAGES the spread. MidPen can't grasp this but I can HOPE that Santa Clara county will mandate the same as SMCo.

Anywhere you live in MV you have walking access to a number of open spaces and public parks . People from Woodside should not be allowed to come to those because of, AGAIN, the way this disease is spread.

I sure hope nobody will die if they can't drive to Rancho for 3 weeks.

Posted by You can;t ENCOURAGE people to travel
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Yes, close the whole damn thing down if people can't figure out how to exercise in their own area. They travel in, maybe get gas, maybe do some shopping, all the while mingling one communities viruses with the other's, then going back to share it with their own community. That's EXACTLY what we're being told not to do

You're argument that this isn't "Fair" to some group and we should ignore how this thing spreads in order to be "Fair" to any group, is asinine IMHO.

Posted by Poison Park
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2020 at 6:26 am

Y’all enjoy the crowds from everywhere in Rancho San Coronio. I’ve found some uncrowded areas to enjoy the outside. Areas free of concentrated of heavily breathing crowds. I’m sure the virus acts differently for you. Come one come all, plenty of parking avail to assist in getting as many people crowded in as the parking spaces allow.

Posted by A Quiz!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 2, 2020 at 6:54 am

1)People might very well die if we close the Rancho parking lot for 3 weeks.

2)People might very well die if we keep the lots open?

MidPen, I'd LOVE to see you answer this then explain it to ALL the surrounding communities. You seem to think we're stronger in this if we all mix together.
Seriously, MidPen, I think you're mistaken and literally playing with the lives of people our community.

It's not about getting away with what is allowed at the time, it's about seeing the scientific realities and making the tough decision that is best for public health.
You're turning a scientific blind eye to how this virus is spreading.

Contact info is on MidPen's web page if you want to let them know how you feel

Posted by Is MidPen run by the GA Governor?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Maybe MidPen also just found out in the last 24 hours how coronavirus is spread.

Maybe they'll understand the urgent priority to TAKE ACTION NOW and stop the spread by closing the lots at the commuter parks like Rancho San Antonio.
They better not ask for one dime from me in donations this year. Don;t even ask.

Posted by Former mayors
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Is midpen run- well look who is on the board. Two of Palo Alto’s most self centered former mayors- yoriko kishimoto and Karen Holman, enough said

Posted by Blood on their hands
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2020 at 4:19 pm

quite literally deciding to enable the spread. Shameful.
This is unbelievable willful ignorance. Can we report to Sheriff?

Posted by Dish closed
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 2, 2020 at 7:09 pm

Stanford dish to close tomorrow afternoon

Web Link

Posted by Thank you Stanford, Now, MidPen?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2020 at 4:09 am

Thank you Stanford for caring about our community!

MidPen, how long will you allow the spread to continue via your communter parks with large lots like Rancho?

Posted by The multi-millionaire liberal left
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 3, 2020 at 10:21 pm

If a Democratic president were in office I guarantee they would've acted sooner, SMARTER, and organized the country as one to either prevent c-19 from entering the country OR greatly reduce it's spread.

What we have today is:

"eeehhh I'll let them (Governors) figure it out..."

"I was told (Jared Kushner) this is all a HOAX, everyone relax there is nothing to worry about..."

"..I called this a Pandemic before it was being called a Pandemic..."

".. it's going to disappear, one day ... It's like a miracle, it will disappear.."

"..All these Governors (Andrew Cuomo)do is complain after all I do for them they should be greatful (as body count grows each day in NYC)"

"...There are plenty of test, anyone who needs to get tested can get tested.."

November 3rd cannot get here fast enough.

Posted by MidPens Pandemic Protocal
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2020 at 5:06 am

1) Attract the crowds with huge capacity parking lots
2) Mix the crowds
3) Send the now mixed crowd on their way to mix with their home area.

Saturday is a GREAT day to get in your car, leave your home area and drive to a giant parking lot that will act as a beacon to ATTRACT people from VARIOUS communities, MIXING them together, then REDISTRIBUTING any germs or viruses people into their home communities.

Does this sound like good coronavirus protocol?

We can have all the social distancing we want, but with outliers like MidMed insisting the huge lots remain open will defeat that.

Thank you MidPen for your actions during this international pandemic, expected to kill so many if we insist on co mixing communities.

MidPen, you really seem like you're taking the lives (LITERALLY) of others into consideration.

Posted by Concerned in mtn view
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2020 at 8:44 am

@the multi millionaire liberal,

More along their point is that anyone else (hopefully) would act differently because they wouldn't be as selfish, egocentric, and arrogant as our current president. And whomever it was would care about the well-being of the American people first and foremost and would act accordingly.

GOP members here you cannot deny some of those quotes as they are direct quotes from your president, so calling those quotes "fake news" would therefore be calling your president fake as well.

I for one would've been OK for a complete national lockdown of TWO weeks to break this virus spread THEN get the nation back to normal. If we had done that in an organized scheduled manner this thread itself of < in a baby's voice > " why can't we go to the park and play?? " Wouldn't exist.

Posted by Solo Runner
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Closing parks for solo athletes, in particular when running on back country trails for example along skyline ridge makes little sense to me.

Posted by Solo runner not
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 4, 2020 at 2:03 pm

@solo runner, once everyone figures out these are the only open parks guess what, you won't be the only one on that trail...I'll bring my candya$$ self along with my other beer guzzling buddies to clog up the trail and the only way you'll get around is thru us as we sneeze, belch, and fart all over your fit physique!! Makes sense now? It's ok sometimes we can't see things that are right in front of us without another set of eyes.

Posted by Gilroy Runner
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:01 am

Is there still parking lots open at Rancho? I'd like to drive up and check it out. So bored!

Posted by Tuner not hooch
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:51 am

@Gilroy Runner, yes it is..enjoy your hike

Posted by Gilroy Runner
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:57 am

Sweet! Hopping in the car now.TY!

Posted by Ugh
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:25 pm

In another story here people now talking about coming from Hayward. Our stay at home efforts are useless.

Posted by the mid-pen guy
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm

No, you're being trolled. They don't pass the smell test.

" .... *we'll* be moving *our* usual "Hiking operations" ... "
" ... Sweet! Hopping in the car now.TY! ... "

It's well-constructed to engender a response. We know who posted this.

Posted by Please stay home
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm

We are supposed to be staying home. As a senior I'm just petrified. It's like there is a forced game of russian roulette I have to play when I leave my house with everyone continuing to move all around. Staying home saves lives and we should all be staying home.

Posted by Check IDs at the gate
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2020 at 5:57 am

Turn non-residents away with a scolding that they should not be traveling into the area. Problem solved.

Posted by @Check IDs at Rancho
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2020 at 5:35 am

Agree 100%

Posted by Palo,alto whines
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2020 at 11:02 am

According to today’s Daily Post, Palo Alto residents are upset that Palo Alto has closed to close the parking lots at its parks, they are apparently writing letters and sending emails, some are claiming it is discrimination. Good to see that even during this pandemic, Palo,alto residents have not lost their sense of entitlement.

Posted by MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 10, 2020 at 9:05 am

Does anyone think it's time to reopen parks and their parking lots for people within the county as long as they follow social distancing? Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Portola Valley residents can walk to taxpayer-paid parks.

Keeping parks closed may still be needed, but it also should be recognized that there is powerful NIMBY political power in the communities that would like to keep public parks as private playgrounds as long as possible.

Posted by The Registrant
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2020 at 6:28 am

@MV Resident, As you were writing your post I was enjoying the parks along Skyline. The lots were open the parks were open. Might be good to check it out yourself and maybe spend less time complaining about things that aren't true on the internet.

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