CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — From his perspective, Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown says people have been doing a good job physically distancing themselves from others around Victoria Park.
Last month, city council passed a resolution to close the inside lane around the park to vehicles in favour of giving it to cyclists, walkers, joggers and those pushing strollers one month earlier than usual.
The purpose was to relieve some of the congestion the boardwalk had been experiencing as people venture out in these times of physical distancing.
Brown said he was out cycling all over the city on Saturday and Sunday, which included trips around the Victoria Park Roadway.
“People were keeping their distance,’’ Brown said, acknowledging that he and other city officials aren’t there all the time.
There has been talk on social media platforms the past few weeks that people are getting too close to each other.
The mayor stressed that council’s move to create more room for people was not designed as an open invitation to everyone across the city to go to Victoria Park for a stroll. He added that he has personally fielded a lot of calls from people suffering from stress and anxiety who need to get out.
He’s asking people who live in the outlying areas of the city who want to go out for a walk, such as in Winsloe, West Royalty and East Royalty, to do it at around parks and on trails in their neighbourhoods so everyone has as much room as possible.
“That physical distance of two metres (six feet) or more is very important in mitigating this COVID-19 (pandemic).’’
Still, the mayor said he has had conversations with Charlottetown Police Services, which indicated officers will continue to monitor the situation.
Brown said city officials are also working hard with the Emergency Measures Organization to get the entire trail system, including the Confederation Trail, as well as the city’s parks upgraded as quickly as possible.
“Victoria Park is not the only park (in the city). It is our crown jewel park . . . but there are many other beautiful parks and trails throughout the city,’’ Brown said.
With physical distancing foremost in people's minds, the mayor says the city is working as fast as it can to provide locations while ensuring those rules are adhered to.
“We’re doing everything possible to ensure parks, roadways, sidewalks (etc.) are available for people to get out for physical and mental wellness.’’