beach closed to traffic

City of Galveston closes 6 beaches to traffic this weekend due to safety concerns

City of Galveston closes 6 beaches to traffic this weekend

Galveston beach with umbrellas
Galveston is closing six beaches to traffic to help ensure safety and enforce social distancing.  Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Visitors & Convention Bureau

Since opening its beaches on May 1, Galveston has seen throngs of visitors pack the shoreline and Seawall despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the city has moved to close all vehicular traffic on six beach access points  beginning Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17, including at the San Luis Pass.

The beaches are only closed to vehicles and remain open to pedestrian traffic, per a statement. The directive is in response to concerns regarding the potential spread of COVID-19 and the amount of public safety personnel needed to manage vehicular traffic on beaches.

This weekend also sees the return of the popular “Go Topless Jeep Weekend,” which is scheduled for May 16-17 on the Bolivar Peninsula.

On Thursday, May 14, the Texas General Land Office approved the City of Galveston’s request to close beach access points to vehicular traffic over the weekend.

These access points include:

  • Sunny Beach
  • Hershey Beach
  • 13 Mile Road
  • 16 Mile Road
  • Salt Cedar
  • San Luis Pass

The city notes that beaches are still open to foot traffic and street parking in the area. The Galveston Police Department and Galveston Island Beach Patrol will continue enforcing social distancing mandates on Galveston beaches, in addition to water safety, according to a press release.

“The City of Galveston's top priority is the health of our residents,” said the city, in a previous statement. “We strongly urge our residents to continue taking health precautions and following the CDC, state and health district guidelines regarding COVID-19, including social distancing and avoiding gatherings of more than 10.”