The Inequities of Beach Access

Over 80% of Californians live within an hour’s drive of a beach, but that does not mean that everyone has easy access to beaches.

1 minute read

July 15, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By Clement Lau

beach Parking

Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock

Beaches are some of California and Los Angeles County's most popular and beloved destinations. But not everyone can get to or enjoy them equally. As Frank Shyong reports in this article, there are numerous factors that contribute to inequitable beach access, including (but not limited to):

  • Lack of public transit service to some beaches
  • Lack of direct connections to some beaches via public transit, requiring transfers and use of multiple bus lines or modes of transportation
  • Costs of parking, food, and activities
  • Actions by some coastal homeowners, including putting up fake no-parking signs, painting curbs red, installing their own gates and staircases and hiring private security
  • Racial bias and the lingering effects of the coast's history of segregation

The article also references a recent study by UCLA's Institute of Environment and Sustainability which offers some valuable data and recommendations regarding coastal access.  

On a related note, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is currently working on a study to analyze and document the need for facilities like beaches, natural areas, open spaces, regional parks, trails, and local parks in rural areas. As part of this process, DPR is conducting an online survey to better understand whether and how L.A. County residents are using these facilities.

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