TRENTON - Six out of 10 New Jerseyans plan to take a trip to the Shore this summer, according to a new poll.
The latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll, released yesterday, found that New Jerseyans planned to spend about the same number of days at the Shore this year as they did in 1995.
The average is 17 days, although that figure is skewed by the 11 percent who will spend basically the entire summer at the Shore. Thirty-one percent plan to stay seven or fewer days. The poll said 29 percent did not plan to visit the Shore.
Though half of New Jerseyans say the Garden State is an excellent (13 percent) or good place (37 percent) to take a vacation, 34 percent rate New Jersey as only a fair vacation destination and 14 percent rate it poor.
The percentage of New Jerseyans who view their home state as a desirable vacation spot has declined steadily from a high of 71 percent in 1994, the poll found.
One factor may be the need to buy beach tags or pay a fee to get access to many of the state's beaches. Only 30 percent of all New Jerseyans think beachgoers should pay a fee to use the beaches; 65 percent disagree with the policy.
"More than 30 years after beach tags began popping up in Shore towns, access fees have become a way of life in New Jersey. But that doesn't mean we like paying them," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
About half of New Jerseyans say the state should pick up most of the cost to maintain the beaches; 33 percent say it's the responsibility of the local towns. Twelve percent say the cost should be shared equally between state and local governments.
The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults April 24-28. The poll has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.