Long Time No Sea: Follow Beach Rules, Be Happy As A Clam

Ellyn Santiago

MADISON, CT — First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons spells it all out. There's a lot to know.

"As we welcome warmer weather this weekend, I wanted to let the community know of some specific initiatives we are undertaking to encourage safe and healthy activities along shoreline roads and at our beaches during this state of emergency," she wrote.

"These restrictions are meant to discourage parties or other large gatherings and promote social distancing. Let’s keep our beaches open this summer by respecting these guidelines."

Beach Access

For those looking to purchase a beach sticker by mail but have no access to a printer, application forms are now available in a box for pick-up outside of the Senior Center, near the drop-off area for food donations. We encourage residents to purchase their stickers early by mail in order to avoid any delays at the gates. We will be implementing signage at all facilities over the coming week to raise public awareness about appropriate activities at our beaches. In the meantime, we expect all visitors to adhere to the following guidelines and restrictions, which are subject to change:

  • Social gatherings restricted to 5 or less, or immediate household members.
  • Stay 6 feet apart at all times
  • Wear a mask if social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Parking capacity limited. Gate attendants will deny entry if capacity reached.
  • Personal umbrellas, chairs, blankets, and towels allowed
  • No pop-up tents, Frisbees or other sports equipment
  • No picnic tables (except those associated with M&J Grill Restaurant)
  • Playground, basketball courts, gaga pit, volleyball courts, and bocce courts closed until further notice
  • Restrooms available via porta-let. All restroom facilities re-opened by Memorial Day weekend, 5/23/2020.

Shoreline Roads

My office has been coordinating closely with the Madison Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) and the Madison Police Department (MPD) to develop additional response requirements and initiatives relating to increased pedestrian, vehicle, and bicycle traffic volume due to Covid-19. These initiatives by the MPD will include the following:

1) Establish MPD Shoreline Thoroughfare Traffic Patrol Task Force.

An area of patrol concentration and traffic monitoring has been established that runs from the entrance to Hammonassett State Park Entrance west through Liberty Street, Middle Beach Road, and Middle Beach Road West through to the Surf Club. This thoroughfare will be closely monitored with increased traffic patrols and monitoring during high volume times such as weekends and Holidays.

2) Expanded Signage

Revision and expansion of neighborhood control signs as well as the introduction of cones to increase visibility and public awareness will be implemented. Signs will alert and request drivers to be more cautious and mindful of safe and proper behavior. Walkers will be reminded to maintain social distancing and use safe courteous walking facing traffic. MPD will work in conjunction with the Town Engineering for the location and wording of signs.

3) Increase MPD presence, public interaction and public safety monitoring along with increased regular patrol drives during high usage and unusual high volume times.

MPD will expand Bike Patrol officers’ presence and patrolling. In addition, MPD has made arrangements with a neighboring community to have full time use of a Police Motorcycle. Designated MPD staff who are already motorcycle trained and certified will have this newly identified Shoreline Thoroughfare as their primary patrol area. Safety reminders will be employed as part of the regular interaction with all police-public interactions.

4) MPD Administrative Oversight

A weekly assessment will be developed thorough community and public feedback, office interactions, available traffic statistics etc. and presented by the Chief to the BOPC and First Selectman to assess the compliance and recommended Covid-19 safety guidelines, traffic volume and public compliance.

This article originally appeared on the Madison Patch