The continued spread of covid-19 presents evolving public obstacles. In order to combat the rising numbers of infections, officials imposed stay at home orders. Social distancing practices prove effective. However, people still go out, whether for essential shopping trips or much needed exercise. For the latter, many Austin residents enjoy the Butler Trail as a means to bike, walk, or jog in the sunshine. Though, as a popular outdoor activity, city officials once again impose new restrictions on its use.
Monday marked the end of a 4 day closure for Butler Trail over Easter weekend. Ordinarily, the path sees lots of traffic during the holiday, but that’s precisely what Austin city officials sought to avoid. To dodge the potentially disastrous opportunity for the coronavirus to spread on the trail, they opted for a complete shutdown.
Butler Trail Moving Clockwise Only
Now, as it reopens, it comes with new restrictions. Until further notice, Butler Trail traffic, whether by foot or bike, travels in the same direction. By forcing all traffic one way, less passing takes place, otherwise opportune moments for the virus to spread. Instead, all traffic moves in a clockwise direction. For example, traffic moving around the south end of Lady Bird Lake travel east to west. Likewise, those rounding the north end of Lady Bird Lake will move west to east.
For any confused Butler Trail users, signage and rangers will assist and monitor the activity on the trail.
The only exception to the new rule exists for those with disabilities.
In addition to the trail changes, the city cuts down on parking at Austin parks in an effort to thin crowds. Sam Haynes, a senior public information officer for Austin, said, “Reducing parking access will decrease the number of visitors and amount of crowding within a park, while keeping parks open to provide health benefits.”