Glitch leads to oversold out-of-town beach parking | New

A “glitch” in Gloucester’s new out-of-town online parking reservation system – since fixed – has oversold 300 spaces at Good Harbor Beach for this Saturday July 23, Mayor Greg Verga said on Thursday.

“We have emailed everyone involved and have set up satellite parking at O’Maley School with free shuttle service to and from the beach every 45 minutes,” Verga said. “We also offer refunds upon request.” For those coming from out of town, O’Maley Innovation Middle School is located at 32 Cherry St.

Difficulties with the online reservation system, introduced this year to reduce beach traffic, emerged at 2:36 p.m. Wednesday, when the city’s Gloucester Beaches Facebook site announced “We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our beach reservation system. We appreciate your patience and will post here once the issue is resolved. Thank you in advance for your understanding.”

A beachgoer who drove two hours with four children only to wait 40 minutes in line and then be turned away shared her frustration in the comments section.

Around noon on Thursday, the Gloucester Beaches Facebook site announced that the system was back up and running.

The Gloucester Yodel webpage allows non-residents to get real-time parking information at Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach and Stage Fort Park, and to purchase daily passes for up to 10 days at the advance through the website. Passes can be viewed through a free Yodel Pass mobile app. All sales are final and no refunds or cancellations are permitted.

“The problem was a glitch in Yodel’s system,” the mayor said in an email Thursday. “Yesterday there were about 40 places in Wingaersheek that were oversold.”

“Our staff were able to handle the issue,” he said. “We will know more in the coming days.”

“Overall, the reservation system has been quite efficient, as evidenced by our less congested roads,” Verga said. “That being said, we recognize that this is a huge inconvenience to visitors and will work closely with Yodel to avoid this type of occurrence in the future.”

Although the system does not normally offer refunds, the mayor said they would be offered in this case.

“If anyone wants a refund, they can email [email protected],” Verga said. “They should include their name, phone number (in case we need to reach them) and license plate number.”

Verga said it would be helpful if those requesting a refund also provided their booking confirmation number.

Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-675-2714 or [email protected]