Eyes on the street: Families take advantage of Humboldt Park’s car-free ring road
Here’s a little taste of what opening Chicago streets up for safe, socially-distanced transportation and recreation during the pandemic might look like.
According to 14th District’s Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program, parking is banned on the ring road of Humboldt Park, Luis Muñoz Marín Drive, starting last night through Tuesday morning to prevent unsafe congregating during Memorial Day Weekend, such as large barbecues or sports matches. Gates have been locked to prevent vehicular access to the drive north of Division Street.
As a side benefit, a CAPS spokesperson said that it’s totally fine if people walk, roll wheelchairs, run, skate, scoot, skateboard, and bike on the car-free road. And local families are already taking advantage of the extra space for social distancing to do just that.
— @the_berthold (@the_berthold) May 22, 2020
Nearby residents reported that so far crowding hasn’t been an issue at all on the drive, but if you go there, please remember to maintain six-foot-plus distances from non-household members, and it’s also a good idea to wear face masks or face coverings. And in the unlikely event that the road gets too crowded for safety, please go elsewhere to avoid a park closure.
But perhaps we can consider this to be Chicago’s first attempt at doing Slow Streets during the pandemic. Imagine what it would be like if residents could walk, jog, and bike with young children on streets all over the city, with plenty of room for safety.