Are people keeping their distance in outdoor hot spots?

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 3:55 PM EDT
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The stay-at-home orders are making it challenging for people who want to workout or have fun outside, enjoying what makes our region so special. That includes the Burlington bike path. We wanted to find out if and how people are practicing social distancing in a place that is crowded on nice days.

Our Ike Bendavid had the hard job of being out on the bike path all day to find out.

As spring weather shines on the bike path, more people turn to the recreational path as a way to enjoy the outdoors.

"It's wonderful any day," said Joanne Moody of South Burlington.

Signs reminding users to keep their distance stretch along the path. With many facilities closed down due to the coronavirus, some people believe more community members are turning to the bike path.

"It's getting a little busier because we can't go to the gym. This has been my go-to," Moody said.

Or even the skate park!

"I try to bring my daughter Ava during off-peak hours, like before noon when it's typically not as busy," said Brendan Foster of Ferrisburgh.

But are people keeping their distance?

"Fortunately, the park is big enough. You can find your little zones and areas," Foster said.

People on the bike path agree.

"Most people are pretty good about keeping a six-foot distance," said Tiana Roussin of Burlington.

Burlington Parks and Rec says don't be quick to judge if you see other people on the bike path with you; they all might be part of the same group.

"You may see four young men in their 20s and you think, 'Oh wait, they are not social distancing.' But they may actually share an apartment together, so they are a household unit just as there is a family unit," said Cindi Wight, the director of Burlington, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront.

Wight says she has fielded complaints about a crowded bike path. She says it is a challenge but just be patient when out there.

"When I am on the path I might just have to be patient, wait for groups to pass and wait for my turn to get through with having to sneak through. But really that's good etiquette all the time," she said.

If the bike path being congested is a concern, there are other options. Wright suggested the 127 path connecting the Old North End and New North End, and also mentioned that Public Works opened some streets like Pine Street to be more bike-friendly and, of course, there are other recreation spots in our region.