2012-03-16 / Top Stories

Gateway’s Riis Park Parking Double$

By Nicholas Briano

Most Rockaway residents don’t use Riis Park’s beach unless there is a specific reason to do so. After all, the majority of residents can walk to the beach from their homes. But for motorists looking to park in the Riis Park lot of Gateway National Recreation Area, they will be paying double to do so, starting this Memorial Day.

Gateway is proposing a 100 percent increase for parking from $5 per day to $10 starting at the beginning of the 2012 beach season, with oversized vehicles more than 20 feet in length charged $20. It will be the first increase in parking lot rates since 2004. Under the proposal, season passes will also increase from $40 to $65 per vehicle and oversized vehicles will pay $130.

Visiting non-beach areas such as Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will remain free. Vehicles with senior or access passes will still receive the 50 percent discount on the new rates.

The parking lot closes at 6 p.m. daily unless otherwise announced.

The increases have been approved by National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, following a public comment period last summer and fall.

“The public spoke and Gateway listened,”

Superintendent Linda Canzanelli said in a statement.

The parking fee increases at Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, New Jersey are half of what was originally proposed last summer. Gateway increases, however, proceeded as planned.

“These modest fee increases will help the park maintain visitor services while keeping outdoor recreation affordable for working families. A season pass costs about the same as a night at the movies for a family of four, but it buys you a whole summer of fun at the beach,” she added.

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