Lake Macbride rolls out new crowd restrictions at beach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lake Macbride rolls out new crowd restrictions at beach


Lake Macbride Park Ranger and Manager Ron Puettman wants to improve overall beach safety. State Park staff will restrict the number of vehicles and visitors to the beach area, on days with a forecast high temperature of 80 degrees or above.

"Especially with a congested 4th of July weekend approaching, the parking restriction is necessary for public safety of park goers and goes into effect immediately," said Puettman.

Puettman says vehicles destined for the beach parking lot, on the park's north side, may be turned away when the 250-space beach parking lot is full. The move is to allow safe traffic movement and to reduce severe beach congestion at the park, located five miles west of Solon, in Johnson County

"We have been turning away beach-goers on several weekends already this season", explains Macbride park ranger Gwen Prentice.

"Up to 1000 people have been utilizing the beach, concession area and outlying picnic sites. Traffic tie-ups, illegal parking and incidents of misconduct have risen with the stream of traffic pouring into the beach area."

Beach goers like Rebecca King of Cedar Rapids have seen how crowded the beach can get.

"I understand we need to keep a path for emergency vehicles.  I'll just keep getting here early to get a spot," said King.

But other beach regulars like Zach Ward don't see a need for a change in rules.

"I don't know why why they wouldn't let everyone come. They've done for I don't know how many years," said Ward.

As vehicles leave the full parking lot, others will be allowed in. The restriction will be reviewed, following the Labor Day Weekend, as beach use wanes.  Ron Puettman says the D.N.R plans to study other parking options next fall.


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