SANDY HOOK: ENTRY FEE HIKE PROPOSED
The per-car fee would jump to $20, from $15, under the proposed hike. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Beachgoers may have to pay 33 percent more to enter the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook next summer.
A proposed fee increase would boost the daily vehicle rate to $20, from the present $15, and the seasonal rate to $100, from $75.
Oversized vehicles — those longer than 20 feet — would see the rate climb to $50 per day, from $30, and $200 per season, from $150, under the plan.
The hike, which also affects Jacob Riis Park in Queens, would be the fifth since parking fees were established in 1983. The last one was in 2012.
The National Park Service has an online Q&A on the rationale for the proposed hikes. From the explainer:
This fee increase will help Gateway maintain the services that visitors expect and deserve: clean restroom and shower facilities and keeping visitors safe and resources protected. We are also able to use this money to do things like renovate the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field and to add a web-cam to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.
Gateway is accepting comments on the proposal through September 5 at Gateway_Fee_increase@nps.gov.
Congressman Frank Pallone issued a statement saying he was asking National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis to withdraw the proposal.
“I believe the park service can find a way forward that doesn’t place the burden on New Jersey families and which keeps access to one of our state’s most prized assets affordable to everyone,” he said in the statement.