The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Tillamook County Thursday announced they will limit vehicle parking on the Pacific City beach from Cape Kiwanda south to the Nestucca River through September.
Vehicles that are launching or retrieving boats can park on the beach, but all other vehicles must park in designated lots or on the street.
The agency and county said the change is necessary to reduce increased congestion on the beach, something they said is both a short- and long-term goal.
Hundreds of vehicles enter the beach through a county-owned gate and boat ramp, the agencies said.
They said that increased congestion is posing a health and safety risk to pedestrians, and there is reduced Oregon Parks and Recreation park ranger staffing available to manage that traffic.
“Traffic patterns have grown to the point that visitor experience is now diminished and has created a very unsafe condition,” OPRD Coast Region Manager Dennis Comfort said in a statement. “I believe it is time to partner with Tillamook County to address limiting vehicles on the beach. That many cars mixed with hundreds of people is a recipe for tragedy.”
Tillamook County is creating extra local parking and shuttle services, but it said visitors should be prepared for parking to be full at times.
“Pacific City continues to be a destination community and is extremely popular during the spring and summer months,” Tillamook County Sheriff Jim Horton said in a statement. “We see a significant number of visitors to the area and we want to continue to work with community partners and OPRD to ensure the safety of those who live in and visit the area.”