Westporters got their first look at the “new” Compo Beach last Saturday — the most beautiful day of the holiday weekend.
It passed with flying colors.
Residents raved about the new entrance pattern, easing traffic into the beach; the sign by the Minute Man noting that the limit of daily parking permits had been reached; the new lot for daily parkers; the updated pavilion, and enormous new seating area next to Joey’s; the spiffy new bathrooms, and the Mobi-Mat allowing easy access to the water for people with walkers, in wheelchairs or pushing strollers.
There were smiles all around, and grateful praise for the Parks and Recreation Commission.
The only frowns were on the faces of folks told they could not toss a football or frisbee on the beach.
For decades, rules prohibited those kinds of activities on the sand. In recent years, lifeguards have turned a blind eye.
This weekend however, they were enforced strongly.
I asked Parks & Rec chair Charlie Haberstroh for a comment. He said:
These rules are not new. At Parks & Rec Commission meetings during the winter and spring we updated and clarified some of the rules.
It is clear from the fact that it is the Parks and Recreation Commission that all commissioners are in favor of recreation and increased physical activity. At the same time, we held many meetings on how to improve Compo Beach and deal with the perceived overcrowding evident in 2017.
I hope all residents and non-residents appreciate all the positive changes we made. One change was better enforcement of existing rules and regulations. We also knew we would have pushback from folks at the beach who were not aware of the rules.
Specifically about throwing a football/frisbee etc. at the beach: After discussion with Parks & Rec director Jen Fava, together we have decided to designate at least 2 areas at Compo — tentatively one in front of the volleyball area, and one on the north end of East Beach for throwing footballs, frisbees and the like.
The department will make the final determination of locations. They will have movable boundaries, depending on how crowded the beach is. Parks & Rec personnel and the police department officers on duty will continue to educate folks on the rules.
The Commission will review the rules, and the 2018 summer experience, at a fall meeting, and make permanent changes then. We will continue to tweak things as appropriate and within the rules.
We are committed to making Compo enjoyable to all, within existing rules. If anyone has issues with any aspect of the Compo Beach, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text or call me at 203-515-2064.