Mayors discuss opening Wildwood beaches; Belmar to ticket visitors
The mayors of the Wildwoods are in discussion about opening their beaches even as Gov. Phil Murphy stresses the importance of continuing to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera wrote on his Facebook page that "barring any major obstacles or issues," he plans to open parks, the beach and bike path with restrictions on May 8.
”Our businesses need to open. Rentals and visitors need to come. Our residents need to start work,” Cabrera said.
Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told the Townsquare News Network that he spoke with Cabrera and North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello through Zoom on Tuesday morning to discuss a coordinated opening of beaches.
"The gist of the conversation was trying to come out in a uniform manner with regards to opening the beach, the boardwalk, parks, playgrounds, bicycle paths, etc. Our game plan in a perfect world would be to come up with a definitive schedule by the middle of next week," Bryon said.
Rosenello said that "we are looking at a coordinated reopening of public spaces with restrictions."
Murphy's executive order only closes state and county parks and beaches, such as Island Beach State Park, but not municipal parks.
Murphy on Tuesday acknowledged "weeks and weeks of pent-up frustration" of people not able to partake in outdoor activity in compliance with his executive order prohibiting gatherings. He said, however, that "we have not arrived at any end zone"
Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island opened its beach on Saturday to credentialed residents and property owners for jogging, walking and surf fishing.
Jersey City reopened five parks on Monday to "responsibly provide residents with that public health outlet in a controlled setting," Mayor Steven Fulop said.
The mayor also called on the state to reopen Liberty State Park and Lincoln Park, which is part of the Hudson County Park System.
Belmar is going in the opposite direction and is discouraging out-of-town visits to its beach with parking restricted to residents along certain sections of 16th Avenue in the southeastern section of the borough.
"First, we are going to target the Pennsylvania and New York license plates. Then we will (ticket) anyone else who is from outside the area," Mayor Mark Walsifer told NJ.com.