Jersey Shore Residents Dread Holiday Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend, to most of New Jersey's residents, represents the start of the best few months of the year: summer. That means nicer weather, less school bus traffic, and random trips to the shore.
But what about the folks who live near the beach year-round? Eight months of peace and quiet come to a screeching halt this time of year, and they're less excited about the unofficial start to summer.
While she recognizes the comeback her town has made since Superstorm Sandy, and the fact that tourism is a major economic contributor, Kristin Wright of Belmar said she's not a big fan of the crowd that arrives from May through September.
"They just don't take care of the place that they come to visit, and they trash it and they treat it disrespectfully," Wright said. "It's sad when you see it all trashed after a weekend like Memorial Day."
Making matters worse, she said, is the nonstop activity on local roads. Just getting to work in the morning is a challenge.
"People are literally waiting for you to pull out of your parking spot so they can pull in with their beach chairs," she said.
Wall Township resident Lynette Eldridge has learned that "everything takes longer" in the summer. Even a simple trip to the supermarket turns into a complicated project.
"A lot of people that aren't from Central and South Jersey just don't know how to navigate circles and the traffic lights," Eldridge said.
Some shore residents have learned to adapt to the seasonal change.
John Smith of Spring Lake, who actually doesn't mind the temporary population spike, said he trades his tires in for wheels over the summer.
"This time of year, a bicycle is quicker than a car, absolutely," he said.