Nothing makes me madder than to read in the paper about a person talking about closing the beach to driving. I guess I should remind everyone that this discussion on beach driving was settled long ago when the area in front of Long Beach and most of the tip of the Peninsula was closed to driving. That was the deal that was made. However, if anyone wants to open this back up to change, then I guess we can talk about opening up the whole beach again, and maybe even have areas for off-road vehicles and 4x4s, like they do north of Coos Bay.

Not much gets a lot of us riled up more than someone trying to change our area just to fit their wants. We have been driving on the beach since there have been cars, and unless you plan on shooting me dead, I will continue to drive on the beach. If you want to go where the beach is closed to driving there are lots of places where this can be done, even here on the Peninsula. I drive a lot on the beach, and I have never seen anyone harass pedestrians. I have seen people walking on the beach not have any control of their kids and dog(s) though. I guess they don’t like watching their kids and just turn them loose without a thought. That might be what some people do in other places, but it doesn’t fly here!

So, if you are against driving on the beach, why don’t you pull your head out of the sand and take a look around and see just how many people drive on the beach vs. how many just walk on it. One of the biggest gripes I have is that when I drive down to the beach between April 15 though Labor Day, there are very few people in the closed-to-driving areas. This has only one possible reason! A lot more people who use the beach drive down to it. I guess what some really want is a private beach just for them, and that the rest of us are limited to just a small piece of the beach, all pushed together just because we have either limited mobility, very young children, or seniors who just might have worked all their life and have wore out their hips. Get a clue people; there is a reason the beach is open to driving.

If we allow people from the anti-beach-driving club to dictate to us all, then we will end up with limited access to all the people who want to enjoy nature, and will end up with little areas where we can be. Right now, we can drive to an area onto the beach, drive to a place where we can have a lot of room to enjoy ourselves. There are over 28 miles of beach for us. Some of it is closed to driving, most of it isn’t. Would you rather that when you go to the beach that you have to drive to a parking lot, then drag all your stuff, kids, dogs, and wheelchairs to one small area with everyone else who doesn’t own a house right on the beach? No thank you! I choose freedom to not live like a bunch of cattle bunched up in a small area!

ROBERT A. WALTEMATE

Lifelong resident of Long Beach

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