CARPINTERIA, Calif. — The City of Carpinteria has closed beach-end parking lots to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
This includes lots on Linden, Elm, Holly and Ash avenues, along with the diagonal parking spaces on Linden Avenue south of the railroad tracks.
This comes just two days after numerous people flocked to the beaches on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.
"It was very nice out and there were big groups,” beach tourist Mike Palmater said. “Lots of groups of people coming out."
The closures are intended to discourage beach crowding and behavior which challenges social distancing orders.
By limiting parking, Carpinteria hopes to keep its beaches open for the foreseeable future.
"I support the city of Carpinteria's decision to close the beach parking,” Santa Barbara County supervisor Das Williams said. “It's a good way to ensure that there's proper social distancing but keep the beach open."
While some believe that social distancing orders have been followed.
“Everyone is observing the six feet,” local resident Brian Meagher said. “I think that we’re social beings and we have to get outside.”
Others disagree with what they’ve seen on the sand.
“You’ll see mostly a man and his wife or some people gathered together with no protection,” Palmater said. “That bothers me.”
With the parking lots sealed off, the question remains on whether these closures will prevent beach crowding.
“Tomorrow you’re going to see a lot more people and on Sunday,” Palmater said. “The weather gets in the seventies like they’re talking, it’ll be crowded.”
For the time being, locals continue to enjoy their beloved beaches.
“We are all on this thing together but it doesn’t mean we have to stop living,” Meagher concluded.
Carpinteria has also began monitoring City Beach and Jelly Bowl Beach. The city’s response to these locations will be based on daily observations.