Dallas Threatens Park Closures If Residents Don't Adhere to Social Distancing

The city of Dallas has 397 parks

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The Dallas Parks and Recreation Department could start to close the city's parks and trails if residents do not comply with social distancing guidelines while using them, the city says.

Saturday, NBC 5 saw hundreds of people using public parks and trails, many of whom did not keep 6 feet of distance between themselves in others.

"We don't want to shut down parks, but public health comes before ammenities," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. "Please help us help you by observing social distancing."

The Parks and Recreation Department will use barricades at the entrances to some park entrances in an effort to slow vehicle traffic, according to a tweet from the city of Dallas.

Two parks are the biggest offenders, according to the tweet: White Rock Lake and Katy Trail.

Officials said park rangers will begin to more strictly monitor the 6-feet social distancing guidelines.

"You'll see basketball hoops coming down. You'll see us move from the posture of friendliness -- we'll always be friendly -- but you'll see some ticketing enforcement in situations like that," Jenkins said.

The city of Dallas has 397 parks.

"We want residents to walk or cycle to their neighborhood park and protect themselves by following social distancing," said John D. Jenkins, Dallas Parks and Recreation Interim Director. "Closing parks and trails is the last step we will take for everyone's safety."

Judge Clay Jenkins appealed to residents' sense of community.

"Think of all the people sacrificing like our seniors," he s said. "The small businesses that are shut down and employees who are without work, so hopeful that this nightmare will end soon and we'll be able to get on with lives."

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