To the Editor:
I would like to express my agreement with Mr. Hammond’s letter to the Beacon concerning Gilchrist Avenue. I am not a Gilchrist resident.
I have spent the winters in Boca Grande for the last 20 years, and I have witnessed the sad deterioration of the Avenue, which has accelerated in the last few years. Palm trees are dying and not replaced, the once-grassy median has all but disappeared in several areas. And it is not parking only.
People are carelessly driving over the median with golf carts and cars, rather than driving a few more yards to the next intersection. Just look in front of the Gasparilla Beach Club where the median has been obliterated.
Obviously we cannot go back to an idyllic past with little traffic and no parking needs, so reality is here to stay. But it should be possible to work out a reasonable compromise that, while recognizing the parking needs and the interests of the various constituencies, will promote and safeguard the integrity of an historic section of Boca Grande.
Replanting some of the palm trees would be a good start accompanied by a little more care and thoughtfulness (enforced by the police if necessary) by people using Gilchrist, driving or parking.
Giorgio BalzerBoca Grande
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