Open Space officials teaming up with police to enforce social distancing

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many trails and open spaces have been noticeably busy in recent weeks. Starting Saturday, police and the City of Albuquerque are cracking down on those who aren’t following the rules about social distancing and parking in these popular areas. 

New Mexicans can still go to these popular places for exercise during the governor’s stay-at-home order. This education campaign is all about making sure people follow the rules so these trails can stay open throughout the public health emergency.

As of Saturday at various trailheads and parks, people will see open space staff and volunteers making sure people are staying six feet away from each other and not gathering in groups larger than five.

Park officials said in the last couple of weeks, the number of visitors to these places is comparable to the busy summer months. They don’t plan on handing out citations but are telling people the rules and giving them other options if there are too many visitors. 

“Coming to very popular trailheads and they’re being clustered together, so in those situations, we’re asking people to disperse and try to find other trailheads or to simply come back at a later time when it’s not going to be so popular,” said Colleen McRoberts, the Open Space Superintendent.

The Open Space Division is also teaming up with APD to monitor parking lots and streets adjacent to trailheads. Officials warn that illegally parked vehicles may be cited or towed. 

Park officials said they plan to have one employee or volunteer at the most popular parks and trails every day until the order is lifted. Officials said the hours of operation for parks and trails will not change for Easter.


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