JERSEY SHORE, NJ (CBSNewYork) – If you need to “go” at the Jersey shore, you may be out of luck.
A new poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University showed New Jerseyans think there aren’t enough bathrooms near the beach.
In fact, 83 percent of those surveyed say the state should require shore towns to provide restrooms for beachgoers.
“In the beach available of restrooms question, women are more in favor of it, 86 percent and men are pretty much in favor of it, 80 percent,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. ”That and parking are the two big issues in communities that don’t actively solicit beachgoers.”
Bathrooms at the beach and beach access rules have been hotly contested issues in the Garden State.
The poll found that 48 percent say shore communities have too many restrictions for getting to the beach.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection wants to relax rules, allowing shore towns to create their own beach access plans which would then have to be approved by the DEP.
But the proposal has drawn opposition from many beachgoers who don’t trust shore towns to make sure the public has the right to use the beaches and not just shore residents.
Some opponents say exclusive towns like Bay Head and Mantoloking already make it difficult to use their beaches by providing little parking, no bathrooms and excessive rules.
And while bathrooms are available at resort areas along the Jersey shore, some say smaller towns don’t provide bathrooms and even ban food and drinks from the beach.
The DEP said it will work with communities to craft access plans that make local sense while protecting the rights and needs of residents and businesses.
But despite a lack of bathrooms, overall New Jerseyans say the shore is a great place to vacation, with 80 percent calling it ”very good” while 73 percent say they’d recommend visiting the Jersey shore to family and friends.
The poll surveyed 1,610 registered voters from June 14 to 19.