A “Walking Mall” at Hampton Beach? Plans Are In The Works
We're all anxiously awaiting the beaches opening back up in New Hampshire. According to nhstateparks.org, all seacoast sand beaches, bathrooms and parking areas will remain closed, including Hampton Beach.
According to Hampton Beach's Facebook page that order will stay in place until May 31st.
But, there's a twist. Seacoastonline.com reports that there could be some changes including a "walking mall". Governor Sununu said that non-essential retail businesses could begin to reopen on May 11th and restaurants could offer take out dining beginning May 18th.
According to Seacoastonline.com, between 40,000 to 80,000 people could be at Hampton Beach on a summer day. Since social distancing guidelines still have to be followed, this means that part of Ocean Blvd. will have to be shut down.
This will create a "walking mall", the article says, and will solve a few problems such as having crowded sidewalks, and also will allow restaurants to have more room to spread out for outdoor dining.
Seacoastonline.com says that the plan is to cut parking spaces by 50%. They also plan to add barricades to create a one way street so cars will be able to exit the state parking lot on Ocean Boulevard to H Street.
Despite the guidelines in place right now, Hampton Beach Police Chief Richard Sawyer told Seacoastonline.com that people are still flocking to the beach. Sawyer says that the amount of traffic on Ocean Boulevard this past Sunday "rivaled" 4th of July traffic.
“They are not able to stop anywhere, but it’s creating a lot of traffic on our roadways.”
Hopefully limiting parking, making streets one way and allowing more room for outdoor dining will get us back to the beach even quicker!