L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn Wants Socially-Distanced Sunbathing As Beach Bike Path Reopens

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn Wants Socially-Distanced Sunbathing As Beach Bike Path Reopens

May 22, 2020

On the Friday before Memorial Day, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn told constituents that she will push for local beaches to be reopened for sunbathing. On May 13, active uses such as running, jogging, swimming and surfing were allowed again at the county’s beaches. Sunbathing is still barred.

Asked in a Facebook Live chat on Friday why people are not allowed to sit on the sand if they’re six feet apart, Hahn replied, “I’m kinda with you on this one.” Supervisor Hahn said she thinks the reason the sand was not reopened was, “We wanted to ease people back into reopening.”

Given those elements and the fact that she doesn’t see one person by themselves on their towel as a threat, the supervisor committed to campaigning for a change.

“I’m gonna push for that restriction to be lifted soon,” Hahn said. “Try not to crowd around people…I trust you to do what’s right.”

Yesterday the supervisor sent California Governor Gavin Newsom a letter asking him to allow smaller retailers to reopen under the same guidelines that big box stores have been allowed to operate under.

Coincidentally, restaurants and stores in Sacramento are being allowed to open on Friday.

One constituent asked Hahn why retailers cannot reopen now instead of July?

“That’s kinda how I felt,” said the supervisor. “The problem, of course, is [that] L.A. is under the mandate of California and Governor Gavin Newsom…We’ll do it as quickly as we can and as safely as we can.”

People planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches this weekend will finally be able to ride on the county’s extensive bike path, which reopened yesterday, according to Hahn. The beach reopening on May 13 did not include L.A. county’s 22-mile beach bike path that stretches from Pacific Palisades to Torrance.

The supervisor announced the good news on her Twitter and Facebook pages on Thursday, posting a photo of a lone bicyclist and the caption, “LA County’s beach bike paths are now open! Welcome back.”

The closure had been aimed at preventing clusters of people from gathering in violation of social-distancing standards on the popular pathway that can get congested during summer months. But the closure seemed to run counter to the “active-use” only restriction at the beaches.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the Venice area, wrote on Twitter, “If people can walk at the beach, run at the beach, swim at the beach and surf at the beach, @lapublichealth should let them bike at the beach.”

Hahn responded on Wednesday, saying she agreed and was discussing the issue with county public health director Barbara Ferrer, adding, “I think we can make it happen.” And it has.

Hahn announced the reopening on Thursday, just in time for Memorial Day.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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