Encinitas City Council

Encinitas Closes Popular Walking Paths Due to Crowds

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In the North County, there are fewer options this weekend for people wanting to get outside and exercise, leaving constituents wondering: How far is too far?

Encinitas city leaders Wednesday closed a pedestrian path along South Highway 101 from Swami’s Beach to Seaside Parking Lot, along with the Coastal Rail Trail, in the latest crackdowns on crowded scenic locations.

Popular open areas have put themselves on the COVID-19 chopping block as government officials try to limit person-to-person contact.

“Now that they’re closing everything, it’s just pushing everyone into a corner,” said one man out for a walk.

The oceanside path was putting people in close proximity and some at the council meeting said there were too many parked cars from people driving into the area. Parking along San Elijo Avenue from Santa Fe Drive to Chesterfield Drive is also closed, the council decided Wednesday.

While some people out on Friday ignored the closed signs, others jogged and walked outside the barrier, moving closer to vehicle traffic.

“It does feel like it’s taking away a bit of our own personal rights in our neighborhood," a woman out on the path said.

NBC 7 also spoke to people at the nearby Seaside Market to see if they agreed with the closures.

Some said they thought it was a “little much” but others said it is a serious situation and if the council feels the need to close it, then they should.

“I understand it, I mean this is extreme. I’ve never been in this scenario where I’m walking around like this and we’re this far away,” said one woman waiting in line.

Some people said governments should consider opening up streets for pedestrians to exercise while social distancing.

While elected officials have tough decisions to make, speaking to residents made it clear constituents are growing increasingly restless.

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