AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is introducing safety measures to manage the attendance at three major Austin parks starting on Friday, May 8, to ensure public health and safety in response to COVID-19.
PARD has been monitoring Austin parks for safe usage over the past two weeks and is making operational adjustments based on the observations and data collection, a press release stated.
Starting on Friday, May 8, PARD will monitor the park's capacity at Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Once reached, there will be signage placed to indicate no more vehicles will be admitted.
Starting on Thursday, May 14, park patrons will have to make reservations for day passes to enter these parks from Thursday through Sunday. There will be a limited number of passes available each day, and no entry will be granted without a pass.
And, beginning on May 21, staff will start monitoring walk-in/cyclist capacity at these parks. Once capacity is reached, no additional walk-ins or cyclists will be allowed to enter. This will move to a day pass system in the coming weeks.
According to the release, regular entry fees apply for Emma Long and Walter E. Long parks. Vehicle access to Commons Ford entry remains free; however, a day pass will be required. No registration is required Monday through Wednesday.
Throughout the week, PARD has removed parking lot barricades. Barricades unintentionally restricted emergency vehicle access due to park patrons parking illegally along park entrance roads.
At this time, PARD facilities and park system amenities remain closed. Park system restrooms, water fountains, boat ramps, green spaces and trails remain open. PARD will continue to monitor park safety throughout these modified operations and adjust as needed. More information is available here.