SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In the first weekend several San Diego beaches will be reopened after being closed for nearly a month, police are warning locals not to crowd Sunset Cliffs.
The area has attracted crowds of locals throughout the week to see the red tide's bioluminescent waves at night. The area is expected to attract more locals this weekend amid the warmer weather.
"It's like Fourth of July on steroids every single night," Neighbor Glen Volk said.
In addition to roping off the edges of cliffs, SDPD has also placed "no parking" signs along the west curbline of 700-900 Sunset Cliffs and 4500 Ladera St. "due to vehicle and pedestrian congestion over the past few days." Beach parking lots remained closed, prompting many visitors to park on side streets or drive along the coast.
"Friendly reminder, San Diego County has 70 awesome miles of coastline - please consider choosing a different location," SDPD posted on Facebook.
Volk said people have been coming out to Sunset Cliffs to party. He's seen illegal activities like drinking in public, smoking pot, illegal driving maneuvers and accidents.
"I fear somebody's going to get hit by a car, a drunk driver's going to cause an accident, somebody's going to fall off a cliff because there's thousands of people hanging out on the cliffs partying," Volk said.
Neighbor Delinda Lombard is worried too, saying "I'm concerned about other people who are going to get sick, I'm concerned about the ICU workers and the nurses in the hospitals and our first responders."
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This week, several San Diego beaches opened with limitations. On May 4, Del Mar and Solana Beach plans to reopen their beaches. Carlsbad is also hoping to open the same day in unison with State Parks, which maintains the majority of Carlsbad's coastline.
Though Sunset Cliffs has been a popular destination during the week, police are urging people to stay at home unless doing something essential, practice physical distancing, and, as of Friday, wear a required facial covering when within six feet of people who are not in the same household.
Both Volk and Lombardo hope people heed the warning from police.
"It will be back [referring to the bioluminescent waves] and we can all enjoy it together but right now is not the time," Lombardo said.
San Diego lifeguards are also preparing for possible crowds. County beaches are only opened for running, walking, jogging, and bicycle or equestrian riding, not sunbathing, laying out, or standing still.
The county has said that any jurisdiction unable to maintain these rules and proper distancing at the beaches would be subject to closure once again.