GLOUCESTER - Making beach plans for Memorial Day weekend? Anyone driving to Gloucester will have to make an online reservation if they want to park at the city's popular beaches.
Gloucester's beach parking reservation requirement for non-residents takes effect Saturday. The online system to book a parking pass for Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach and Stage Fort Park is up and running, as beachgoers can make a reservation 10 days in advance.
Day passes have typically been sold at the entrance to beach parking lots but that will not be an option this season. Gloucester Mayor Greg Vergathat the intention is to prevent a "traffic nightmare" during beach season.
"We are trying to streamline it to make a more enjoyable visit for them, as well as make things better for the locals," Verga said. "If you are a visitor that has been driving on the highway for an hour or more to come here and you are basically rolling the dice. It's not a good feeling, I am sure."
The passes are available on the city's website on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who get a pass will be sent a QR code that they show to beach staff when pulling in.
Car prices range between $20 and $35, depending on the location and day of the week. There are no refunds for bad weather.
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