Playgrounds, now pathways: Coronavirus stranglehold continues as joggers banned from Frederiksberg park

Municipality concerned that narrow paths are not conducive to both strollers and runners enjoying the green area

With pathways barely two metres wide, you can see their point (photo: Daderot)
March 27th, 2020 10:32 am| by Ben Hamilton
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A lot more people have been jogging recently. Many regard it as a low-risk activity that breaks up the monotony of the coronavirus lockdown, even if they do normally find the activity exceedingly boring!

And unlike the boy-racer cyclists, who inexplicably still crowd one another at the traffic lights, it’s rare to see a runner go too close (within two metres) to a pedestrian or fellow exerciser.

Big Brother knows best
But Big Brother, or should that be Frederiksberg Municipality, is no longer prepared to take the risk that adults are capable of … well … behaving responsibly.

From today, it has banned joggers from using Frederiksberg Have, a large park that stretches from almost the centre of the municipality to Copenhagen Zoo.

Instead it has told them to use nearby Søndermarken.

Søndermarken a better option
There is logic in the decision. The paths of Frederiksberg Have can be pretty narrow, and the municipality values the comfort that walkers find in taking a stroll around the gardens.

In contrast, Søndermarken, which regularly hosts public school running events, has wider paths and a clear circuit to follow, which is approximately 2 km long.

Runners are instructed to run strictly anticlockwise – the opposite direction advised to visitors to the Lakes, which since last weekend has had sign-posts in place specifying the preferred direction. 

More bans to follow?
Joggers will fear that more municipalities will follow suit and add park pathways to the growing number of no-go areas.

And if there’s one thing we know about people who exercise daily, it’s that they won’t stop! 

For many, a jog is the only release they get from the pressures of the lockdown, and more will take to running down streets instead, with a calamity waiting to happen around almost every corner.