• Get away to Gateway, where you can camp and stay healthy with heart-smart activities. Photo by Sebastiano Privitera; used by permission.

    Gateway

    National Recreation Area NY,NJ

Parking Fee FAQs

Floyd Bennett Field's Ryan Visitor Center is undergoing historic restoration thanks to funds from the park fee program.

Floyd Bennett Field's Ryan Visitor Center is undergoing renovations, thanks to funds from visitor parking fees.

NPS PHOTO

Why are parking fees going up?

To maintain current levels of services, Gateway must raise parking fees throughout the park for the first time in ten years. This increase will bring Gateway fees in line with fees charged at similar areas with similar amenities. Click here for more about the reasons behind this proposed increase.

What are the proposed fee increases?

  • $10 per vehicle at Riis Park, Queens, New York and $20 per vehicle at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
  • "Daily" pass will now be valid for two consecutive days.
  • Season Passes will increase to $65 per vehicle at Riis Park and $100 at Sandy Hook. These passes are per vehicle, as before.

When was the last fee increase?

In 2001, daily fees went up to $10 at Sandy Hook. In 2004, parking fees increased at Jacob Riis Park. Compare current and proposed fees here.

How many times have fees increased?

Fees have increased three times since 1983, when parking fees were first established at Gateway. The last fee increase at Sandy Hook was in 2001, ten years ago and in 2004 at Jacob Riis Park in Queens.

Why raise fees now, especially with the bad economy?

This is not a decision we take lightly. Gateway belongs to all Americans and must remain affordable to families and individuals. At the same time, our visitors expect and deserve clean and safe beaches. It is necessary to raise fees if services are to continue at current levels. Even with the increases, recreation at Gateway compares favorably with nearby areas offering similar services.

 
Bikers and Walkers using the Mult-Use Path at Sandy Hook, one of the projects made possible by visitor parking fees.

Bikers and walkers alike enjoy Sandy Hook's Multi-Use Path, which was built in part with money collected from visitor parking fees.

NPS PHOTO

Are there any changes to parking pass benefits?

  • Single day receipts will now be valid for two consecutive days.
  • A new Season Pass for oversized vehicles (vehicles over 20 feet) will be available at Sandy Hook.

What has fee money been used for in the past?

Literally hundreds of projects were funded in full or in part with fee money. Here is a sample.

  • Operations: Lifeguards, traffic control, law enforcement, maintenance at all units of Gateway.
  • Expanding the docking facility at Sandy Hook.
  • Rehabilitation of campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field.
  • Shoreline monitoring at Sandy Hook.
  • Rehabilitation of the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field.
  • Paving the Multi-Use Path at Sandy Hook.
  • Repairing the Boardwalk railing at Jacob Riis Park.
  • Sand Slurry beach replenishment at Sandy Hook.
  • Fixing visitor railing at Jacob Riis Park.
  • Kayaking and sailing public programs.
  • Rehabilitation of Frank Charles Park in Queens.

What would the increased revenue be used for?

The fee increase is necessary to maintain current levels of service, not to expand services. If there is any "extra" increase in revenue, it would go toward backlogged maintenance projects, such as repairs to historic buildings in the park.

What is the difference in prices and benefits with other surrounding beaches?

  • Current prices are below comparable pricing for nearby beaches.
  • One example: Coney Island charges $15 per vehicle for parking.
  • In New Jersey, beaches charge per person, not per vehicle. The more people who visit in the same vehicle, the cheaper the cost.
  • Compare beach prices at Sandy Hook with those near the park (based on 2011 figures).
  • Compare beach prices at Jacob Riis Park with those near the park (based on 2011 figures).

Can I still use my Senior Pass/ Access Pass/ America the Beautiful Pass?

Visitors with passes used for entrance fees for federal lands such as the Senior Pass, etc., will receive a 50% discount on parking fees, as they do now. (At parks with entrance fees, these federal passes give the holder free entrance. Remember that Gateway does not have entrance fees, only parking fees.)

What can I still do for free?

Plenty! At Sandy Hook, you can visit Fort Hancock, the Lighthouse, Guardian Park, Horseshoe Cove and fishing areas. Our interpretive programs, such as kayaking and sailing, are usually free. Entering the park is still free for those who walk or bike into the park.

I have some opinions about this! Who will listen to me?

Gateway wants to hear from you. You have the right under Federal law to make comment about a proposed fee increase. Please e-mail us your comments to us between now and Friday, September 30, 2011. Gateway welcomes public comments and will consider all of them before making a final decision.

Did You Know?

Cyclists on Floyd Bennett Field.

Before they built the first airplane, the Wright Brothers were bicycle manufacturers. Today, the historic runways of Gateway's Floyd Bennett Field are used by cyclists throughout the year. More...