can't help but chuckle about the Great Beach Access Debate
currently under way in New Jersey. We have the best beach access of
any state I've ever been to on the East Coast. That would include,
north to south, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York,
Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and Florida. Hell, when I was on
Cape Cod, I couldn't find the ocean. (OK, I was in college, and
there may have been confounding factors involved.)
there are a handful of places in New Jersey, on the northern end of
Long Beach Island, where towns developed in such a way that too
much of the beachfront is inaccessible - from the street - to
nonresidents. But No.1: That's about three towns. And No.2: "From
the street" is key. These towns can't keep you from their beaches
if you are walking along the waterline. You just can't park
anywhere in these towns. Or get to the beach without walking on
private property or using the one, two or three public-access
points. That's wrong. But in Connecticut, there are wire-link
fences extending into the surf line to keep you off the rich folks'
most of New Jersey, and virtually every place in Atlantic and Cape
May counties (the nicest beaches in the state), just about every
street ends at the beach, where there are steps allowing easy
access. I'm just a guy from Somers Point. And I can drive over the
causeway and park in front of $2 million houses in Longport or
Margate ... and go to the beach. And if it's a really bad parking
day, I have to park in front of the $725,000 houses another block
or two back from the ocean and walk a few more blocks to the beach.
I can deal with it. So can you.
it's a problem if I have to take a leak, which ... uh ... happens a
lot these days. But it was a problem when I was 6, too. You go in
the ocean. Or, these days (sorry if I am revealing a secret here),
you can go to the libraries in Margate or Longport to take a leak,
or the beach bathrooms generously provided by Ventura's Greenhouse
in Margate. How much easier does it have to be?
New Jersey does not have a major beach-access issue.