CINCINNATI — For the indefinite future, cars will be prohibited from entering the popular Twin Lakes Overlook at Eden Park in Walnut Hills.
The Cincinnati Parks Board Thursday approved a staff recommendation to close the road gates leading into the Twin Lakes vicinity, effectively making the scenic destination a car-free zone.
Cincinnati police closed the area to vehicular traffic on March 26 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The closure followed reports of large crowds gathering at some of the city's more popular parks, including Eden Park. Officials at the city, county and state level have warned the public of the risk in not observing social distancing when visiting parks, trails and other public outdoor areas.
Since ordering bars, restaurants and other social gathering places closed due to COVID-19, more and more people are turning to parks as one of few ways they can get out of the house.
But the call for a car-free Twin Lakes predates the pandemic.
In a May 7 memo to the board, Parks Division Manager Jenny Mobley wrote, "Twin Lakes(') popularity has increasingly posed issues over the last several years including crowding, safety, noise, and traffic congestion."
Mobely indicated that the area's compact design leads to overcrowding and frequently requires people walking to cross roadways, creating high potential for vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
"These issues are particularly evident during times when large crowds are present," Mobley wrote.