I would just like to clarify that the Marine Resource Task Force was proposing at a recent council meeting. The reporting seemed to imply that the MRTF was suggesting regulating bicycles on the beach, but that is not the case. We asked the Town Council to consider creating an ordinance that regulates when and how Town employees can operate motorized vehicles on the beach.
When the town first installed trash cans at beach accesses, the then Public Works Director’s policy was that the trash cans were serviced from the beach access using the road. The current policy is that the beach can be used by Town employees to avoid traffic, at the employee’s discretion, and some town drivers regularly violate the rules that other permit holders must follow. MRTF feels that an ordinance or binding written policy is needed to bring consistency and balance to the issue.
We are a beach town, and the beach is our greatest asset. Some vehicular traffic is necessary, like health, safety and regulatory activities, but any vehicle on the beach disturbs the tranquility and safety of beach visitors. I have almost plowed into frolicking children while jogging on the beach, there is a strong likelihood that a town vehicle will cause an injury and expose the town to liability. Vehicles flush wild birds, causing them stress, disturb the sand and put pressure on the creatures that live in the sand.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify what MRTF is proposing and the importance of creating a reasonable and concrete policy regarding how and when the Town is allowed to operate vehicles on the beach. MRTF made our proposition to the Town Council, and now it is up to your elected Council.
Chair, the Marine Resource Task Force