City to close parking lots at open space preserves including Arastradero to ensure social distancing

Arastradero Preserve. photo.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Palo Alto will close the parking lots at all of its open space preserves including Arastradero, said city spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan-Taylor.

Horrigan-Taylor said preserves will be closed to cars starting Friday (March 27) because there have been a lot of visitors. They will still be accessible by foot or bike.

“This difficult decision was made to protect the community and to ensure social distancing is maintained,” she said.

Everyone in California is supposed to stay home unless they are going to the grocery store or seeing a doctor to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

People are allowed to go hiking and biking outside but are supposed to stay at least six feet away from people that they don’t already live with.

All restrooms and drinking fountains are also closed. Other facilities including tennis courts, pickleball courts, the skatepark, playgrounds and athletic fields are also closed.

“The city is urging the community to stay at home,” said Horrigan-Taylor. “This will save lives. If large crowds continue at our parks and Open Space Preserves, we will have no choice but to close them for the safety of the whole community.”

There have been 17 deaths in Santa Clara County because of COVID-19. There have been 459 diagnosed cases, but the actual number is likely higher because of a nation-wide lack of testing.

Gov. Newsom has closed parking lots at many state parks and beaches to prevent large crowds from gathering.


  1. This is a very disappointing decision. It’s very easy to maintain social distancing in a park. This ban isn’t needed. I wish City Council had asked for public input before making this decision.

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