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Beach Driving Rules in Oregon Coast Town Change: Restrictions in Lincoln City Upheld

Published 09/28/23 at 6:07 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Beach Driving Rules in Oregon Coast Town Change: Restrictions in Lincoln City Upheld

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Beach driving rules have changed slightly in one Oregon coast town, with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission voting to stop allowing cars on one beach in Lincoln City while continuing to allow driving on another there for most of the year. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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New rules were adopted last week with the cooperation of the Lincoln City Council, which had already voted earlier this year to support these changes. They and State Parks based this decision on the input of local fire and rescue crews, who urged authorities to change the rules for the safety of the public. Among the issues: they had found congestion of vehicles at these beaches hindered rescue efforts after 911 calls to the area.

For decades, driving at the NW 15th Street access and ramp had been allowed year-round - one of the few on the entire Oregon coat. It is now blocked during the summer months, but allowed in fall, winter and spring. You can drive 150 feet in either direction. This opens again on October 1 and will be so through April 30.

“Motor vehicles are prohibited at all other times except for emergency vehicles,” State Parks said in a release.

The other, smaller access at NW 34th (often known as the Grace Hammond access) is now prohibited year-round to driving on the sand. Oregon coast officials found there were various safety concerns, especially crowding at the beach. With no real separation between beachgoers and vehicles, officials said “the risk of injury to visitors playing in the stream directly below the access point” was a possibility.

“I’m grateful for our partners in Lincoln City and around Oregon who voiced their concerns and helped find a solution that balances the needs of our visitors at the Oregon Coast," Central Coast District Manager Preson Phillips said. "This rule change provides a safer experience at the beach access points in Lincoln City.”


State Parks will install signs that clearly communicate the closures and rule changes.

Grace Hammond / NW 34th access

The agency said it also plans to improve knowledge about how those with disabilities can access the shoreline from both beaches, which have ramps down to the sand. Improved signage to make this clear is in the works, State Parks said.

The new rules were adopted by the commission on September 20.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection does not recommend driving on any beaches (except for dunes areas where ATVs are allowed), even though it is only allowed on a handful of accesses.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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