Colonial Park: Colonial Drive Closed To Traffic On Weekends, Holidays

Although Colonial Park remains open, new rules have been applied to its use.

Starting May 9 and continuing on weekends and holidays until further notice, Colonial Drive – the road that runs through the entire park – will be closed to vehicles, according to a press release from the Somerset County Park Commission.

Parking will be accessible only from a single point off of Elizabeth Avenue, in the Howe Athletic Center driveway to the Center’s parking lot.

In accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order allowing for the reopening of state and county parks, the Center’s parking lot will be closed when it has reached 50 percent of its maximum capacity, according to the release.

After that, the park will be closed until enough cars have left the lot, according to the release.

With the closing of Colonial Drive on weekends and holidays, walkers will be able to use the road and maintain a safe social distance, according to the release.

According to the release, the following rules are in effect in the park:

  • FACE COVERINGS: should be worn when and where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.
  • PARKING: will be limited to 50% of the maximum capacity at one time, and visitors shall be prohibited from parking in undesignated areas, including in roadways.
  • PICNICKING: is prohibited. The use of charcoal grills in picnic groves is not allowed. Picnic blankets, chairs, coolers, and other such personal property are not allowed in parks.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: must be practiced at all times. Visitors are to stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS: shall not be allowed.
  • GATHERINGS: in parks or on trails are prohibited.

All bathrooms, picnic areas (including charcoal grills), pavilions, playgrounds, exercise stations, and all buildings will remain closed, as will the leash-free dog run according to the release.

The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden will also remain closed, according to the release. All of the Commission’s baseball, basketball, softball, cricket, soccer fields and tennis courts will also remain closed.

“If Commission staff witness non-compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders or with the Commission’s practices and policies, the Commission will have no choice but to close its facilities,” the release said.

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