GLOUCESTER , MASS. (WHDH) - Gloucester is reopening public beach parking lots at a reduced capacity to non-residents this weekend, city officials announced Tuesday.
The city closed its parking lots at Stage Fort Park, Good Harbor Beach, and Wingaersheek Beach to non-residents this past weekend following numerous complaints of excessive traffic, illegal parking, littering, and increased public safety concerns. The decision was also made to promote social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to beach capacity concerns around the scheduled tide cycle.
“This weekend we saw far less traffic, and I’m thankful to everyone who helped everything go smoothly,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said in a news release. “If our beaches become overwhelmed or if capacity is reduced because of tides, we may have to limit access again in the future.”
On July 25 and 26, parking lots at Good Harbor and Wingaersheek beaches will be open to Gloucester residents and a limited number of non-residents, at a reduced capacity, according to Theken. Stage Fort Park will be open to the public. Non-residents will be required to pay daily parking rates at the gate.
For the remainder of the summer, the city says it will announce any parking restrictions for the coming weekend on the Wednesday prior.
Real-time parking updates will also be posted regularly to the Beaches Facebook page. On weekends the parking lots typically fill up by 9 a.m. and begin to reopen in the afternoon.
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