Foreigners go to Yodel to park on the beach: Gloucester introduces advance booking website | New

North Shore sun-seekers hitting Gloucester’s beaches this summer can reserve a spot in advance and get a digital pass.

Mayor Greg Verga said selling advance reservations through an online system was intended to reduce frustration for foreigners traveling to America’s oldest seaport, stuck in long lines to park or find full lots.

“The beauty is that you’re guaranteed a spot,” he said.

The city also wants to reduce traffic congestion for those who flock to city beaches and make it easier for residents to get around.

“This is a small effort to try to fix this problem,” Verga said of efforts to reduce traffic and create a more efficient beach parking system underway since before he took office on January 1st. To that end, the city will not. will sell beach parking passes for non-residents in 2022.

The city sees this as a step up from the on-site, first-come, first-served cash payment system that has been the norm at its beach parking lots for decades. The city hopes advanced reservations will create better traffic at the gates.

There are no refunds if the space is not used, the mayor said.

The city plans to use self-serve pass app Yodel, a parking management platform also used by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to enable contactless access to parks. Condition, according to Yodel’s website.

Since Yodel allows reservations 10 days in advance, the city plans to have the new non-resident reservation system up and running by May 18, in time for the Memorial Day weekend rush. May 28-30. The reservation site will be available on the city’s website. , gloucester-ma.gov and the Gloucester Beaches Facebook page.

In years past, beachgoers from surrounding communities would buy a sticker out of town, then set off at 6 a.m. to try and score a spot on the beaches. The city posts beach parking availability on Facebook, but had no guarantee of a space even with the non-resident sticker.

Area beachgoers who haven’t purchased the non-resident parking sticker should also take a chance and pay the daily rate, which in Wingaersheek and Good Harbor is $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends. -end, according to the city’s website. There was also no guarantee of marking a space if you just showed up.

Gloucester residents who purchase a beach parking sticker ($20 for residents for one year, $4 for seniors for four years, and $100 for seasonal renters for one year) do not pay the daily rate on city ​​beaches.

Verga said he knew it would take some time for foreigners to get used to the idea of ​​having to make reservations in advance.

“We’re not going to pretend there won’t be any setbacks in the first year,” Verga said.

The plan is to post electronic signs warning non-residents of the change along the highway.

Verga cited the example of Crane Beach in Ipswich which uses an online pass system.

With this new reservation system for out-of-town beachgoers, the mayor said the city has no plans to change the beach parking sticker program for residents. No advance reservations will be required for residents to park at city beaches. Resident beach parking permits are now available online and will be available at the City Hall Collector’s Desk on May 16.

“I don’t see that going away,” Verga said.

Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-675-2714, or [email protected]

About Michael B. Billingsley

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