Off-Season Parking Free in Most Beach Communities
Seaside Park's parking meter enforcement remains in effect on weekends, while other local Shore communities offer free parking 24/7 during the winter.
If you find yourself headed to a shore community on the other side of Route 37’s Mathis Bridge to embrace one of the warmest winters on record, you may want to choose carefully where you park your vehicle.
Seaside Heights, Ortley Beach, Lavallette, and Point Pleasant Beach all offer free parking during the off-season. However, Seaside Park still enforces parking meters on weekends.
The decision to stop enforcement in the off-season is fairly new in Seaside Heights.
“We stopped operating our meters in the winter last year,” Seaside Heights Township Administrator John Camera said in a phone interview. “We’re a resort community, and we like people coming here in the off-season. As a result, turning off the parking meters in the winter was a public relations decision. We’re trying to become more customer friendly.”
But not all shore communities seem to agree. If you’re headed to Seaside Park during a winter weekend, you will have to pay. Parking meters remain in effect from 10 p.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Monday between September 15 and May 15, according to the borough website. The cost of parking in a metered space runs $1.50 per hour. The borough’s 24-hour meter enforcement resumes on May 16.
Borough and police officials in Seaside Park did not return phone calls or emails for comment on why their meters remain in effect during winter months.
“It can get confusing. People can park one block away in neighboring Seaside Park, and they may not realize that meters are being enforced on a weekend right now in Seaside Park,” Camera said.
The neighboring communities of Ortley Beach and Lavallette offer free on-street parking on a first-come, first-served basis year-round. In Lavallette, however, some areas require residential parking permits, so be sure to check any nearby signage.
And if you’re headed up a bit further north on Route 35, parking meters are not in effect in Point Pleasant Beach until March 1.
As for summer enforcement, Seaside Heights' Camera says that is just something we’ll have to get used to.
“A lot of people get frustrated with the meter enforcement in the summer, but we feel it is necessary with the influx of visitors,” he said.
Camera said the number of parking violations has increased in the past two years, but that is consistent with an increase in visitors to the community in recent years.
For a look at the cost of summer parking in these communities, check out Patch’s Guide.