At Large If Square States Had Oceans, They’d Do This
posted by August 18 at 11:00 AMon
This weekend, after a previously planned out-of-town trip for a story fell through, I decided to take a road trip to Ocean Shores.
(And here, within the snug confines of these parentheses, I will go a little bit LiveJournal on your ass. The topic of conversation will continue after this self-indulgent break: Having grown up in Maine, I’m fond of cheesy, touristy beach communities, because they remind me of home. The trip itself was kind of difficult. After four hours in traffic, I finally arrived: it was 50 degrees and foggy with light rain. The next morning, it was so foggy that you couldn’t see further than thirty feet in any direction, which made for a pleasant, though weirdly apocalyptic, walk on the beach. The fog did not stop me from getting a very bad sunburn. The end.)
My question is this: How the fuck is it still legal to drive cars on beaches in Washington state? Or, to be more specific: why are beaches considered part of the highway system, with a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit? This is just a bad idea. Besides the fact that people drink at the beach, and that people tend to, you know, take naps on blankets at the beach, cars also leak all kinds of horrible fluids. Is there a powerful beach-driving lobby in Washington? Will people get pissed if they can’t drive on beaches anymore?
There are lots of states where you can’t drive on beaches—I’m from one—and never have I heard any variation of “You know, this beach experience would be so much better if I could park my fucking Hummer right next to me while I tan and drink beer out of a cooler in back.” It seems like banning cars from public beaches is a really simple, really non-controversial environmental law that should’ve been passed ages ago.