Press Democrat Editorial Backs Parking Fees At Beaches

The May 25th editorial in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat beings with:

"Your right to walk on the beach is guaranteed in the state constitution.

But a restroom? A lifeguard? Trash collection? A convenient parking place? None of these is promised in Article X, Section 4 of the constitution, nor in any of the myriad state laws and legal decisions defining the boundaries of coastal access. There's certainly no assurance of amenities without a charge.

After imposing a $5 parking fee at several locations in the early 1990s, state officials backed down in the face of angry protests at Bodega Head. The state is again moving to assess fees at Sonoma Coast beaches (this time, it's $8), and another round of protests is getting started. This time, the state shouldn't back down.

No one is eager to pay more — or to start paying for something that's been available for free. That's human nature.

Unfortunately, given present circumstances, refusing to pay is short-sighted."

The complete editorial is HERE.

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