The Falmouth Beach Committee on Wednesday, February 17, heard from members about the poor conditions of the parking lots at Grews Pond and Old Silver Beach.
Located within Goodwill Park, the parking lot for Grews Pond is used by both beachgoers and park visitors.
“The parking lot has not had any attention or reconstruction in the last 20 years, as far as I can tell,” committee member Joseph A. Strazzulla said. “It is starting to erode down the hill, because it is all gravel and sand, and there are some gullies where water, when it rains, goes down toward the beach area. That needs regrading, and some supporting timbers and other structures around the edges to level it off and make it more defined.”
The parking lot is not adequate for the number of people who visit Goodwill Park, the playground and Grews Pond. Visitors have found alternative parking spaces, including on the grass within Goodwill Park and along Gifford Street.
“In the last season, I remember cars parking on the roadway entering the park,” Mr. Strazzulla said. “After trying to get a space and not finding one, they came back out onto the street. The police were called, and eventually it was posted as ‘no parking.’ “
The issues at Old Silver Beach are in the auxiliary dirt parking lot located across the street from the beach. The lot was closed last summer when parking lot capacity was reduced by 50 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Strazzulla described the dirt lot as “in terrible shape.”
“On many occasions, I have noticed that that lot is half underwater when the tides are high,” he said. “That is further eroding the capability of that lot to support vehicles. There is nothing worse than parking a car over there, and having the person leave at high tide and they’re under six inches of water. That is not good for anybody, both the guest or our parking lot.”
He said regrading the parking lot is an immediate fix, one that would requiring working with the Falmouth Conservation Commission due to the lot’s close proximity to a marsh.
“If we are going to use that for overflow parking during the season, that lot needs some attention,” Mr. Strazzulla said
While most of the other structures at Old Silver Beach are good, he said the access ramp requires maintenance and the snack shack needs a new coat of paint.
Chairman Paul Miskovsky provided a report on Falmouth Heights Beach, noting it needs nourishment.
“The Heights has lost some sand, because the beach itself is really caught in between the jetties,” Mr. Miskovsky said. “I know that the DPW brings in the Botelho boys to sort of straighten out the sand and get that profile back in place.”
Noting nourishment is a problem throughout town, and he said the committee needs to try to get some funding to put sand back on that beach.
Debbie Scott, vice president of the Falmouth Heights Maravista Neighborhood Association, sent the beach committee an email detailing numerous requests for the Falmouth Heights and Bristol beaches.
The association asked the town to repair the Falmouth Heights sea wall, install a sidewalk on Central Park Avenue, add signage at the crosswalks along Grand Avenue, maintain the trash receptacles and schedule regular pickup, restore adequate lifeguard coverage at Bristol Beach, maintain the Finish Line Garden, change the color of the porta-potties from red to tan and install a new fence in the Bristol Beach parking lot.
“As far as Bristol goes, I don’t disagree with some of the fencing issues,” Mr. Miskovsky said. “The overall appearance of the parking lot area could be a lot prettier.”