JONES BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The surf’s up, and anger too, on Long Island, where beaches will be banned to New York City residents.
“The misguided actions of the mayor of New York City have put us in quite a predicament here in Nassau County,” Legislator John Ferretti, Jr. told reporters, including CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan, on Tuesday.
“This restriction and this legislation is in response to actions of Mayor Bill de Blasio from the city of New York,” said Nassau County Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. “There are 8 million residents in the city of New York, and if a small fraction of them come to Nassau County, to our beaches, they will inundate the beaches.”
The mayor defended his decision to keep New York City beaches closed due to safety and spread of the virus.
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“We’re all supposed to be in this together,” one person said.
County beaches in Nassau and Suffolk and a majority of town beaches will require the driver of the vehicle to show proof of residency and limit parking lots to 50% capacity.
“I’m issuing an order for this Memorial Day weekend, and indefinitely moving forward, to make Suffolk County beaches resident-only. We know that we have limited capacity,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
“I will sign legislation restricting access to Nickerson Beach to Nassau County residents only,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“I feel like that’s valid. It makes sense,” one person said.
“I mean, that’s not what this country is about,” said another.
Some fear an explosion of beachgoer traffic and people at Jones Beach as a result of nearby town and county beaches restrictions, McLogan reported. Jones Beach is a state beach located in Nassau, and will be open to all.
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“It will upset a lot of people who will b driving around and can’t get into the parking lot,” one person said.
State and county police say they will work together.
“We will have our aviation bureau up. They will assess traffic assessments and get back to us if there’s a problem,” said Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
De Blasio said his decision is not arbitrary or irresponsible.
Lawmakers on Long Island said they are protecting the local taxpayer.