Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday that bike paths and some beach parking lots would reopen in the city, along with all retail businesses for pickup and delivery.
Parking lots at Cabrillo and Venice beaches would be open as of Friday, along with those reopened by the county at Dockweiler State Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach.
L.A. County beaches were reopened on May 13 for active recreation like swimming, surfing, running and walking.
Garcetti’s announcement came after L.A. County reopened its beach bike paths earlier Friday and allowed for indoor mall curbside pickups and car parades ahead of Memorial Day weekend. Previously, all retailers except indoor shopping malls were allowed to operate with curbside pickup.
The city is also reopening two recreation zones along the L.A. River in Elysian Valley and in the Sepulveda Basin in Encino on Memorial Day Monday, including area parks, trails and bikeways.
“Now you’ll be able to walk and bike by the river as long as you wear your face coverings and follow physical distancing protocols,” Garcetti said.
Fishing and bird watching will also be allowed, according to the L.A. River website. Water activities like kayaking and swimming remain prohibited.
Slow Streets L.A. expanded
The city’s Slow Streets L.A. program will be expanded to Eagle Rock and Mid City, the mayor announced, allowing residents more space for recreational activities in their neighborhoods while protecting them from overcrowding on sidewalks and promoting social distancing.
“We look forward to bringing slow streets to more and more neighborhoods,” Garcetti said. “Throughout our city, already more than 175 groups have applied to get their neighborhood into this program. “
The Slow Streets L.A. program first launched with 7 miles of “soft closures” in the Del Rey and Sawtelle neighborhoods.
Federal government singles out L.A.
Hours before the news briefing, the U.S. Department of Justice sent Garcetti a warning letter saying they’re concerned the city may pursue “an arbitrary and heavy-handed approach” to stay-at-home orders.
“We’re not guided by politics in this. We are guided by science. We are guided by collaboration,” Garcetti said at the news briefing. “I want people to shift their mindset from those of us who did the right things and were hardcore about closing, we’re able to do this and save lives.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, identified Los Angeles Friday as one of three regions where persistent spread remains a significant concern. She said the Los Angeles area, including Orange County, continues to see issues, along with Washington D.C. and Chicago.
“We’re I think ranked at 82nd in terms of deaths in terms of the cases that we have per capita,” the mayor said. “So we’re nowhere near the top of the infection rates, the cases and the deaths. We have very steady progress.”
L.A. County reported 1,072 new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the total to 43,052. In the city, there were 450 new cases Friday, bringing the total to 20,391. Both the city and county had a 2% increase in cases from the previous day, officials said.