Here’s the scoop on the current Higgins Beach Parking situation…
(and why the lot on Ocean Avenue is not a substitute for the Bayview Avenue spaces).
Some have suggested that the availability of the parking lot on Ocean Avenue eliminates the need for parking spaces near the beach on Bayview Avenue. Here are facts and considerations that refute that suggestion:
1. Facts about the parking spaces on Bayview Avenue
• 13 spaces (two of which are handicap)
• Spaces are about 25-30 yards from the beach entrance
• Parking hours: 6am until 10pm, with a one-hour limit
2. Facts about the parking lot on Ocean Avenue
• 86 parking spaces, (5 of which are handicap)
• Lot is about 450 yards – about ¼ mile — from the beach entrance
• Lot hours: 5:30am to 9pm
• Paid parking: 9am until 5 pm during the summer. Other times: free.
• During the winter, plowing of the lot is unpredictable. It is very low priority for the DPW.
3. The distance of the Ocean Avenue lot from the beach is significant
• It adds considerable time and effort to get to Higgins Beach.
• To older visitors or those with respiratory or medical conditions who do not have handicap plates/placards, a roundtrip of about 900 yards can make a visit to the beach inconvenient or impossible.
• To those beach users who have to be at work at 8am or 9am in the morning, walking on the street for more than a half-mile in a roundtrip to the beach cuts significantly into available time and could easily discourage people from coming to the beach.
• If spaces are available at Bayview Avenue and there is no demonstrated noise issue associated with them, why should they not be available to the public?
4. There are significant safety issues in walking to the beach from the Ocean Avenue lot
• During bad weather, and particularly during and after winter storms, walking on wet or icy roads between the beach and the parking lot can raise very real safety concerns as there are no sidewalks on Ocean Avenue from Greenwood Avenue to the beach.
In summary, while the lot on Ocean Avenue is an important part of a rational parking program at Higgins Beach, the 13 spaces on Bayview Avenue serve different needs and are also an integral part of the neighborhood parking program.