I read with great interest an article by a spokesperson for the Gilchrist neighborhood Association, which stated there had been a miscommunication about the Gilchrist parking situation. But it went back to the same old tired talking points about that never-implemented Olmsted plan for a linear park on Gilchrist Avenue.
The article also stated that people parking under the coconut palm trees on Gilchrist was what is killing them … not the disease that killed many of the palms on the island a couple years back.
It went on to report on the day-to-day doings of the group in their efforts to ban parking on the street. It said that the GNA conducted a survey that identified more than 311 parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the churches. I wonder how many more parking spaces would be available if the county had not allowed the over planting of the right-of-ways and the existing parking by some Gilchrist residents.
It is an insult by the GNA to advise the community and the county to redo the fifth street parking lot after their takeover of existing parking on the street, and after they took away the simple pleasures of the bridge club. They have accosted worshippers on their way to church, threatened local merchants and left bogus announcements on the windshields of vehicles (private property) parked on Gilchrist.
Times have changed since the 100-year-old Olmsted pipe dream was drawn up.
Right now the island needs the parking. I hope the commissioners will take the needs of all island residents into account, because the rest of the community needs a place to park. How much more public space are the Gilchristians going to be awarded? That patch of weeds belongs to all of us.
Boca Grande, Planet Earth