Gateway Proposes Parking Fee Increase for 2012
Would Be First Fee Increase in Several Years
Gateway National Recreation Area is proposing changes to our fee collection program in the form of extended collection hours and increased parking fees at both the Sandy Hook Unit and the Jamaica Bay Unit. The park is also proposing extending fee collection hours to 6:00 P.M at Sandy Hook, as is already done at Jacob Riis Park. The proposed changes would take effect during the 2012 beach season.
This would be Gateway's first parking fee increase in several years. Fees last increased at Sandy Hook in 2001 and at Jacob Riis Park in 2004. Visitors with Senior or Access Passes would be charged half price on entrance fees, as they are now.
Parking fees charged at Sandy Hook and Jamaica Bay Units are authorized through the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 (FLREA), which allows 80% of the revenue collected at Gateway to remain in the park.
Why is Gateway doing this, and why now?
Proposing a fee increase is not a step the park takes lightly, especially during these economically trying times. Many families cannot afford to take vacations in distant locations. They depend more than ever on nearby parks a as places where they can get away.
This fee increase will help Gateway maintain the services that visitors expect and deserve: lifeguards, restroom and shower facilities and keeping visitors safe and resources protected. See how Gateway is using the fee money collected in Fiscal Year 2011 for services and programs for the next fiscal year.
Visiting non-beach areas will remain free. These include: the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens. These will all remain free.
Even with the proposed increases, a visit to Gateway's beaches will remain within the means of everyday Americans. Our proposed parking fees are comparable to fees charged by other beaches in the area. Where many beaches charge an entrance fee per person, Gateway charges a parking fee per vehicle. The more people in the vehicle, the more you save. Biking or walking into these beach areas will remain free. Take a look at our Parking Fee FAQs page and judge for yourself.
What can I do?
Gateway wants to hear from you. As required by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, Gateway welcomes your comments and suggestions while the park considers this change to our recreation fees. Please e-mail us with your comments. Park staff will also be reaching out to visitors on beaches affected by the proposed fee increase between now and Labor Day to collect general thoughts and suggestions.
Gateway will accept comments from Monday, August 15 through Friday, September 30, 2011. We will consider all opinions before making a final decision.
Comparing Current and Proposed Fees
Sandy Hook Unit
Jamaica Bay Unit
Did You Know?
At approximately 32 square miles and over 13000 acres, Jamaica Bay is the largest natural open space in New York City.