RI DEM considers bringing back full parking at state beaches
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WLNE) – Summer is officially here, the weather is getting warmer and more people are likely to go to the beach.
Parking has been limited at beaches across the state in order to minimize crowds, but a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Management said it hasn’t been working which is why they are reconsidering bringing back full parking.
“For the first time we saw most people who came to the beach even though the lot is full, there were cars unloading people and people walking onto the beach,” Michael Healey, with the DEM, said. “We are not sure what we’re going to do with parking, whether we are going to acknowledge the reality that there’s going to be lots of people on the beach and maybe open up the lots.”
Saturday was the official start to summer and according to Healey, around 20,000 to 25,000 people were on the beaches.
Healey said if you are trying to get a spot at the beach and not wait for hours, your best chance is getting there right when the beaches open at 8:00 a.m.
Everyone is urged to wear a face mask if you can’t keep a distance of six feet. Rangers will be walking around asking people to spread out if they see people crowding blanket to blanket.
Healey said they aren’t seeing enough people wearing their face masks on the pavilions.