Enable safe, social distancing approved, exercise routes for pedestrians in Lakeland

Enable safe, social distancing approved, exercise routes for pedestrians in Lakeland

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Brigitta Shouppe started this petition to Lakeland City Commissioners

We respectfully request that you revisit the decision to close public sidewalks such as Lake Hollingsworth Dr., Lake Mirror, general public “green space” etc. Without identifying alternative places to allow citizens to safely recreate, it has become dangerous for many residents to do things like walk, bike or jog, as the CDC recommends and Executive Order 20-91 outlines as an essential activity for Floridians. 

Health officials have consistently reiterated the emotional, mental, and physical benefits of exercise, and this has been reiterated in state and local “safer at home” type orders. For reference: the CDC, the governor's executive order, Pinellas County's safer at home order, and Hillsborough County's safer at home order. 

Taking away safe routes for exercise does not decrease the need for safe exercise. It pushes people to other places, often exacerbating the problem. Advising residents to “walk in your neighborhood” when it has few sidewalks or “just jog in the street” are not a viable safe alternatives for many Lakeland residents. Telling two brothers who live in an apartment to "play catch in the backyard" is not a viable option.

There are safe options that strike a balance between opening everything and closing everything. We urge you to direct staff to research and consider alternative options such as: 

  • Close high profile routes like Lake Hollingsworth drive for a couple hours in the a.m. and p.m. so pedestrians can spread out and exercise safely;
  • For neighborhoods with alley access consider parallel streets - one for cars, and one for pedestrians;
  • Find green spaces people can use safely at safe distances - like the field next to common ground park.

The Coronavirus and our social distancing efforts are a marathon, not a sprint. We ask that you take the CDC’s guidelines for safe exercise and the Governor’s Order outlining essential activities into consideration and find SAFE viable ways for families to exercise while respecting social distancing guidelines. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!