Starting Thursday, new restrictions begin on Dallas’ popular Katy Trail to decrease foot traffic and encourage social distancing.
The city said anyone will have normal access to the Katy Trail on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
However, starting this Thursday, people whose last names begin with A through L are asked to use the Katy Trail only on Thursday and Saturday. Anyone whose last names begin with M through Z are encouraged to use the trail on Friday and Sunday.
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With these guidelines in place, the city expects a significant reduction of congestion on the trail, which will lessen the risks of the spread of COVID-19.
"We cannot allow this amenity to become a health hazard. We have to be willing to adjust our practices and behaviors and take personal responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 so that we can save lives and get through these challenging times as quickly as possible," said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
City officials are also encouraging people to use their neighborhood parks, which may be less congested.
Friends of the Katy Trail released a statement:
“We know that people have been frequenting the trail to seek respite from the Shelter In Place. The Friends of Katy Trail support the City’s decision to ease congestion on the trail by implementing new distancing guidelines. The Friends' main priority in these difficult times, and always is for people to have a safe and enjoyable experience while using the Trail. We hope that everyone will comply with the City's request and use the Katy Trail responsibly. We're all in this together!”
NBC 5's Larry Collins contributed to this report.