NYC’s favorite elevated park, The High Line, which runs 1.5 miles through the West Side of Manhattan, has officially closed.
As of now, other NYC Parks (Central, Madison Square, Washington Square, etc.) and public playgrounds remain open. The NYC Parks Department is posting updates online here. People of course need fresh air and can stay at least six feet apart from others in wide open park spaces, but the High Line presented a more difficult issue because it has rather narrow pathways and not as much open space for people to spread out.
In their official statement, they echoed this sentiment, saying,
“Friends of the High Line’s Board of Directors, in consultation with senior staff, has decided not to open the High Line. This was a difficult decision. However, given new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about limiting gatherings of 50 or more people, the closure of NYC public schools, and the mayor’s limitations on restaurants and bars, we cannot ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers, or staff.
This decision was informed by recommendations from public officials, the CDC, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on social distancing as a means to contain community spread of COVID-19. While we fundamentally believe in the power of parks, especially during challenging times, we have to think about public health and safety. As an elevated park, the High Line’s design includes staircases and narrow paths. These unique conditions make it hard for us to meet the social distancing requirements of keeping at least six feet between people.
During this period, and while we are physically closed, please visit our website and social media channels to stay connected with the High Line and for the most up-to-date information. Also, visit our online photo galleries—looking at nature, even just in photos, has proven to lower stress.”
featured image source: Instagram / @nico.world