About two weeks ago Barrington officials shifted their police on non-resident parking at the town beach.
While the beach had not allowed non-resident parking at the start of the summer season, …
About two weeks ago Barrington officials shifted their position on non-resident parking at the town beach.
While the beach had not allowed non-resident parking at the start of the summer season, local officials decided to change that recently. Barrington Recreation Department Director Michele Geremia said the town beach began allowing non-resident parking on weekdays about two weeks ago. Barrington Beach remains resident-only parking on the weekends.
“We’ve been monitoring the (parking) spaces down there,” she said.
Officials discovered that there were plenty of available parking spaces in the lot during the week, she said.
“My sense is that the town manager feels that if we’re able” to accommodate it “we should be open to non-residents,” Ms. Geremia said.
Last year was a busy one at Barrington Beach. With most of the state’s larger beaches limiting parking capacity or offering resident-only parking, Barrington Beach quick grew in popularity. The town beach’s paved parking lot filled early most days, so town officials opened up the adjacent grassy area for additional parking. Those spaced filled up quickly also.
Officials decided to make the town beach resident-only parking, and the town manager extended the beach hours, keeping it staffed until 8 p.m. each evening.
As officials began planning for this summer’s beach season, they decided to stick with the same model — resident-only parking and the extended hours. But after a few weeks it became clear that Barrington Beach was not experiencing the same heavy traffic.
Ms. Geremia said the drop-off in attendance is likely due to other beaches returning to full capacity. The recreation department director said the town has sold fewer season beach passes this year: From 2,400 last year to about 2,100 this year.
Ms. Geremia said the town is selling about 6 or 7 non-resident day passes each day. A non-resident day pass costs $10 per vehicle. (The Barrington Park and Recreation Commission had considered increasing non-resident passes to $20 per day, but that effort was voted down.)
Ms. Geremia said Barrington Beach has not experienced a single closure due to water quality issues this summer. In years passed, the state has periodically closed the beach to swimming because of high bacteria counts. Ms. Geremia said she was hoping the beach would remain open through the rest of the summer.
“Knock on wood,” she said. “Summer’s not over yet.”
Beach hours and passes
Open to resident and non-resident parking: Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Th beach is resident-only parking on the weekends.
• Resident season pass: $30
• Resident day pass: $5
• Non-resident day pass: $10