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Social distancing in SF: Signs warn parkgoers to stay apart, Muni to monitor passenger thresholds

Photo: SF Public Works/Twitter
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on March 20, 2020.

Until April 7, the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order asks people to leave their homes only for work and essential services, to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But officials have said that dog walking, biking, running and otherwise spending time in nature is fine — as long as pedestrians maintain social distancing from others outside their households. Using public transit to go to work or access essential services is also fine with the proper distancing. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the message that they need to stay six feet or more apart from non-household members — and the exodus from homes to parks at peak hours like lunchtime isn't helping.

So SF Public Works is installing multi-lingual signs in parks across the city to remind visitors, starting with Alamo Square and Buena Vista parks.

Social distancing is also being implemented on Muni. The SFMTA has announced that it will be monitoring vehicle passenger levels, skipping stops once a bus or train has grown too full.

Service has also been adjusted and cut back, with the L-Taraval and the M-Oceanview moving to one-car trains only. Cable car lines have been replaced with bus shuttles, since there's no pane on cable cars to protect the driver.

With ridership levels down 90%, BART is also reducing service beginning Monday, with trains running until 9 p.m. on weekdays, instead of the usual midnight. Saturday and Sunday service will run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., instead of the usual 6 a.m. to midnight.

BART is also encouraging passengers to remain six feet apart, though it's unclear if there's any formal enforcement of the policy aboard trains.

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