Busy beach days are ahead. But the city of Gloucester is busy spending the off-season dealing with the congested streets and car parks that come with the area. They now turn to a new tool to help visitors plan.
Known for its coastline, the coastal community will now use technology to handle traffic. It’s an issue that residents like Marilyn Munroe deal with every year.
“I guess everyone in the world knows Good Harbor,” she joked.
Peter Galatis says it starts early.
“Before 7 a.m., traffic just backs up in every direction,” he said. “It’s like a spider effect.”
If you’re planning on driving to a beach in Gloucester this summer, you’ll want to book your parking space in advance.
“Anything we can do to reduce these types of congestion will be a real plus,” Mayor Greg Verga said.
The solution has been in the works for years.
The city is introducing the “Yodel” Memorial Day weekend, a new system that allows non-residents to reserve and pay for parking at city beaches in advance.
Visitors can reserve a spot through Yodel’s website up to 10 days before hitting the beach, a step that guarantees them a pre-paid spot when spots are available.
Joe Lucido, of Gloucester’s Public Works Department, said the idea was to give visitors peace of mind while discouraging them from congregating near the beaches before the gates open to wait in line. The reservation is valid all day.
He said he “hopes to take some of the heat out of the city streets”.
Every time you make a reservation you will receive a QR code sent to your phone. This will be scanned at the booth to allow you access.
“It takes away their money on the beach,” Verga said, “which makes for more efficiency, they get through the gate that much smoother.”
The overall goal is to make the beach day more relaxed for visitors and locals alike. Galatis approved of the idea.
“It’s a beautiful place to get to. The beaches are nice, everything else is great,” he said, “except the traffic.”
Yodel is expected to launch 10 days before Memorial Day weekend. Reservations are not required for residents. Visit the city’s website for more information.