A parking lot at the south end of Ocean Beach has been closed to discourage crowds, the National Park Service announced Thursday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Parking lots at Lands End, Ocean Beach and others close

Too many Californians flooded too many public parks and beaches amidst the COVID-19 outbreak last weekend, and now officials are trying to dissuade those crowds.

To that end, National Park Service Service officials on Thursday closed the parking lots at Fort Point, Baker Beach, Lands End, and Ocean Beach at Sloat Boulevard, at least temporarily.

Those San Francisco park and beach parking lot closures, were announced Thursday by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and follow an order by Governor Gavin Newsom Monday to close parking lots at some state parks across California.

Newsom said he had “a little anxiety” watching news reports showing people crowding public parks and beaches in California when he announced his order to close state parking lots.

“We need to practice common sense and socially distance, that means we need to help you help yourself,” he said in a press conference. “When you’re out there and you can’t even find parking at a beach, it suggests you’re not going to practice social distancing.”

Health officials have cautioned people to stay at least six feet apart to help stem the spread of COVID-19. But amidst a statewide shelter-in-place order, it seems people disregarded that caution when flocking to public parks and beaches, especially on weekends.

The National Park Service closures in San Francisco include the West Bluff parking area in the Presidio, Long Avenue parking at Fort Point, the Battery East parking lot near the Golden Gate Bridge, Langdon Court parking lot which is also near the Golden Gate Bridge, Navy Memorial parking, Ocean Beach parking at Sloat, Baker Beach parking, and Merrie Way parking area at Lands End.

Parking at Marin County destinations have also closed, including Muir Beach, Rodeo Beach, and Upper Conzelman Road, which leads to Point Bonita lighthouse.

All of these parking lots will be suspended “until further notice,” according to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The closures announced Thursday follow previous suspensions of Golden Gate National Recreation Area sites, including Alcatraz Island, the Presidio Visitor Center, Fort Point, the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center and the Lands End lookout.

joe@sfexaminer.com

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