Busy beach days are on the horizon. But the city of Gloucester is busy spending the off-season trying to tackle the crowded streets and parking lots that come with the territory. They’re now turning to a new tool to help visitors plan.
The seaside community known for its coastline will now be using tech to tackle traffic. It’s an issue residents like Marilyn Munroe deal with every year.
"I guess everybody in the world knows about Good Harbor," she joked.
Peter Galatis says it starts early.
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"Before 7 a.m traffic just lines up any which way,” he said. "It’s like a spider effect."
If you do plan to head to a Gloucester beach this summer, you might want to pre-pack your parking spot.
"Anything we can do to reduce that kind of congestion will be a real plus," Mayor Greg Verga said.
The solution has been in the works for years.
The city is launching “Yodel” Memorial Day weekend, a new system that will let non-residents reserve and pay for parking at city beaches ahead of time.
Visitors can grab a spot through Yodel’s website up to 10 days before they hit the beach, a move that will guarantee them a prepaid spot if spots are available.
Joe Lucido of Gloucester’s Public Works Department said the idea is to give visitors peace of mind while also keeping them from gathering near the beaches before gates open to wait in line. The reservation will be good all day.
He said he “hopes to take some of the heat off of city streets.”
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Each time you make a reservation you’ll get a QR code sent to your phone. That’s what will be scanned at the booth to allow you access.
"It takes away the cash at the beach," Verga said, "which creates more efficiency they’ll get through the gate that much smoother."
The overall goal is to make it a more relaxing beach day for visitors and locals alike. Galatis agreed with the idea.
"It is a beautiful place to come to. The beaches are nice, everything else is great, he said, "except the traffic."
Yodel is expected to launch 10 days before Memorial Day weekend. As for residents, there is no reservation required. More information can be found on the city’s website.