Open New Hampshire Beaches for Transitory Activity

Open New Hampshire Beaches for Transitory Activity

May 1, 2020
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This petition made change with 2,545 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Erik Cannon

While we support the continued closure of state beach parking lots as a means to deter out of state visitors and groups from congregating, we do not not support the continued blanket closure of the beaches themselves. As seacoast residents, we are concerned about the continued closure of our beaches and the possibility of an indefinite extension.

To date, no metrics or tangible considerations for opening have been communicated.

As a solution, we propose the following.
 - Continued closure of the state parking lots 
 - A continued ban on group gatherings
 - Reopening of resident parking areas at the discretion of local municipalities
 - Allow access to the beaches for transitory exercise with appropriate social distancing (surfing, walking, running, swimming, fishing, etc.)
 - Temporarily limit or eliminate most street side parking within 1/2 mile of the seacoast
 - Increase fines for those parked illegally within 1/2 mile of the beaches
 - Use of highway signage to promote the parking closures at all seacoast area state borders and on route 101 (similar to the 14 day quarantine signage currently in use) 

This system will allow seacoast residents access to the areas best natural resource without creating excessive crowding from out of state visitors, and without placing an additional burden on local law enforcement. It also allows for increased social distancing when comparing the size of the beaches themselves to the sidewalks along the coast, which are currently open.

As of today, we are the only state with blanket beach closures. All others, including our neighbors to the south, have exceptions allowing for athletic access on a state level.

We share the same health and safety concerns as all responsible members of the New Hampshire community, and do not doubt that longer term social distancing measures will need to remain in place. However, we believe strongly that residents need and deserve access to the outdoor spaces in their communities.


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