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NCC closes vehicle access to Greenbelt but looking to re-open MUPs early

NCC Headquarters in downtown Ottawa.

(Via NCC)

Vehicle Access to Greenbelt Temporarily Closed

Like many organizations, the National Capital Commission (NCC) is doing its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With that objective, we are temporarily closing vehicle access to the Greenbelt as of 9 pm on Friday, March 27, 2020, until further notice. All parking lots at trailheads and off-leash dog parks will be closed.

This is consistent with the decision made on March 23 to temporarily close Gatineau Park, and end its winter recreation season.

We recognize that this decision will affect residents’ enjoyment of the Greenbelt, but we must make every effort to protect employees, contractors and trail users from COVID-19, and ensure compliance with public health directives from all levels of government, particularly the call to avoid all non-essential trips.

We encourage everyone to enjoy the outdoors close to home — on foot or by bike — rather than driving to a destination further from home. Trail users arriving in a vehicle will be unable to park in the trailhead parking lots or on adjacent roadways. Local authorities will enforce these parking prohibitions.

Accordingly, people who live near a trailhead or a dog park and can access it locally may still do so, provided they respect public health recommendations, including physical distancing.

Early Reopening of Multi-Use Pathways

The NCC is striving to facilitate National Capital Region residents’ safe access to the outdoors closer to their homes.

We are now working at progressively reopening NCC multi-use pathways as quickly as possible, relying on heavy machinery to clear ice and snow, along with the help of Mother Nature. Please check our social media feeds for updates regarding pathway openings.

At this time, we are currently not considering roadway closures of either the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway or the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway to vehicle traffic due to logistical challenges, staffing requirements and the need to ensure continued access for transit and emergency services.

Subject to, and consistent with, ongoing advice from public health agencies, and in consultation with partner municipalities, the NCC will reassess options for road closures, including Sunday Bikedays, as the situation allows.

More information will be shared as it becomes available.