We tried to do the giant stride on the North side when the gates were open, I have a bad back and can't carry the gear around the fence over to that entry if the gate was closed. The south side is what I was referencing.
Yes, it was a bit annoying that they locked the pier gate sometimes. If there was any rhyme, reason, or logic behind when and why they locked it, I could not tell. It did not stop any one from getting in, unless they had some physical impediment (as in your case) that prevented them from walking along the narrow top of that low wall running alongside the pier; it just made people risk hurting themselves trying to get in, if they lose their balance.