New park restrictions in place to help encourage people not to congregate

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Tom Lee Park

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A little rain wasn’t enough to stop Denzel McGregory and Courtney Banks from getting in an early morning run. They were among just a handful of people at Tom Lee Park Tuesday morning.

Mayor Jim Strickland is hoping to keep it that way.

On Tuesday, the city closed Riverside Drive between Union Avenue and Georgia, shut down the basketball courts and dog parks to keep large groups from gathering.

The drastic measures were taken after people flooded Tom Lee Park last week on a warm, sunny day.

“I was not but I heard that it was jam packed. People had cars driving around and what not. Jam packed out here.”

McGregory said he understands the need for physical activity for people going a little stir crazy right now, but thinks the mayor made the right decision.

“I think it’s a good idea to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

While it’s still okay to use area parks, city leaders don’t want people meeting up with friends or groups. They also said people must follow the six foot rule.

Mayor Strickland believes limiting access to parks will save lives, and McGregory agrees.

“I’m young but I have grandparents and I have a mother I have to come in contact with so, you have to keep it to yourself. It’s a good idea.”

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