Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has launched a new pilot program designed to promote social distancing for essential exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young said that roads around portions of Lake Montebello will immediately close to vehicular traffic so that residents can safely walk and bicycle while practicing proper social distancing protocols, including keeping 6 feet apart.
“This pilot program expands people’s walking and biking options while helping residents get some much-needed fresh air in an appropriate space,” Young said in a statement on Monday.
Young said a similar program was launched in Druid Hill Park, where the Department of Transportation closed a lane of parking on Swan Drive where it intersected with Beechwood Drive. The DOT, in partnership with the Department of Public Works, has determined that areas surrounding Lake Montebello can further promote exercise activities with safety protocols, he said.
Baltimore health officials reported that there are 2,609 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city, including 124 deaths and nine “probable” deaths that officials link to the virus. With the rise in cases, Young said there is an increasing demand of materials for essential workers.
Five private entities are donating protective gear and sanitizer to the city that will help protect front-line workers during the COVID-19 emergency, Young said. The five are: Target, Baltimore Health Professional Mutual Aid Cooperative, Baltimore Mutual Aid Cooperative, Tito’s Homemade Vodka, and the Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy.
“We want to thank our private corporations for their contributions and support during this global health emergency,” Young said. “It is critical that we ensure that all of our essential workers are appropriately protected. These donations will help in our efforts to continue to keep all Baltimoreans safe.”