Protect Access to Higgins Beach!
Please join us in urging the Scarborough Maine Town Council to REJECT proposals that seek to limit the current 1-hour parking on Bayview Avenue at Higgins Beach to 30-minutes and potentially install metered parking at these last remaining FREE, beach-adjacent parking spots.
We are also asking the Council to SUPPORT Councilor St. Clair’s proposal that modifies 30-minute parking to 1-hour at all of Scarborough’s beachside parking spaces.
We encourage you to edit and sign the message below to the Council to include any personal connection you have to Higgins Beach, as well as how these bad proposals would negatively impact your use and enjoyment of this magnificent public resource, if passed.
Here’s a suggested draft of a letter to the Town Council members:
Dear Members of the Town Council:
I am writing to join Higgins For All in thanking the Council for its longstanding efforts to protect and enhance the public’s rights of access to all of Scarborough’s beaches, for all people.
I am also writing to express opposition to the amendment before you that would unnecessarily and significantly limit public access to Higgins Beach by reducing the current 1-hour parking along Bayview Avenue to 30-minutes.
This proposal would decrease short-term access for surfers, dog walkers, regional visitors, and persons who have mobility or respiratory challenges but no handicap parking permit, who cannot easily enjoy Higgins Beach in 30-minutes but can and do use the Bayview spots for one-hour parking.
Visitors from other states often arrive on weekends and thus are not always able to buy a beach pass, and may only want to stop briefly. These visits are good for our local economy and should be welcomed, not discouraged by a 30-minute parking limit.
One-hour parking IS short-term use at a beach; 30-minute parking is more akin to drop-off time than short-term use.
I urge you to vote against the 30-minute amendment and instead support the proposal Councilor St.Clair intends to introduce for consideration that would address the expressed interests of some Council members in providing regulatory consistency while maintaining 1-hour short-term use and free, non-metered, beach-adjacent parking access at Higgins Beach.
Maintaining the 1-hour parking additionally prevents further conflict with some property owners who are currently expressing issues with perceived morning noise, as a 30-minute time restriction would necessarily increase traffic and noise along Bayview Avenue.
In addition, having free, beach-adjacent parking is something many working families cherish for their short-term use of Scarborough beaches, and I hope you will hang onto it.
There are more effective ways to enforce parking regulations than by installing meters. Free meters provide the infrastructure that slides into future paid parking, which discriminates against financially insecure people and would take something special away from Higgins Beach.
Please consider instead instituting video surveillance of the Bayview parking spaces using the existing equipment already in place and asking the Police Department to randomly monitor the feed and ticket violators of any laws, including the parking regulations, by using license plate numbers for offender identification. This addresses a wider swath of concerns raised by our community than metered parking alone, without the hassle of installing meters across all beach parking in Scarborough to maintain consistency.
Thank you for your consideration.
[add your name here]
NOTE: The email address that will reach all members of the Town Council is: firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget the Town Council meeting on September 16…
Please attend the hearing and WEAR A BLUE SHIRT to demonstrate your support for public access! The hearing is Wednesday, September 16, at 7PM, at 259 US Route 1, Scarborough; early arrival is recommended to get a good seat.
Attendees are given the opportunity to address the Council for three minutes. Please consider speaking and letting the Council know you want them to protect public access to Higgins Beach!
Your voice matters! Thank you for helping to protect public access to Higgins Beach.