To the Editor:
As the Boca Grande community has grown over the years, the additional parking that the Gilchrist median provides has become a valuable and necessary asset for all islanders. The additional parking is especially important to downtown businesses and churches, which are the heartbeat and soul of a diverse community.
Recently there has been a movement started regarding the Gilchrist median that, if successful, would drastically reduce or eliminate the parking options that many island businesses, churches, residents and visitors now depend on.
A recent survey has been sent out by an unnamed group entitled “Boca Grande Residents Poll.” One of the questions is: “Are you familiar with the parking controversy on Gilchrist Avenue?”
Controversy? Why not ask, “Are you familiar with recent discussions regarding improving Gilchrist Avenue?” Another question is, “Should Lee County provide parking lots for visitors on the island?” Parking lots? Really?
The wording on many of these questions being asked on this unsigned survey look like an attempt to stroke the flame of discontent and exclusion by a minority of island residents who feel there should be no parking at all on the Gilchrist median.
Don’t fall for it! That thinking is not in the best interest of the community.
Let's all work together and find a fair, common sense solution to an issue that’s just not that big of a problem. Parking has occurred as needed on that median for at least the past 30 years.
I believe the majority of island residents, the downtown business community and the churches want to be good neighbors to the residents located along Gilchrist.
We support the Gilchrist residents’ concerns regarding parking safety and stand with them to create an attractive landscaping plan that will fit comfortably within their neighborhood, while being true to the historical beauty of Gilchrist.
All I ask is that everyone be reasonable and take the time to understand that the entire community is being served with the additional parking that the Gilchrist median has provided for years now for the surrounding village area.
A well-researched plan that would beautifully landscape the median with safe parking is already out there, and ready to be implemented. There should be no “controversy” about all this.
That plan is called the “Community Plan,” and addresses the issues as fairly as possible. I encourage everyone to check it out for yourself. It’s a great solution to the issue of how to improve the Gilchrist median, while addressing the local residents’ concerns.
Let’s prove that communities can come together and solve community issues like this fairly and without all the negativity.
I hope that everyone will support the community plan to improve the Gilchrist median; then let’s get back to enjoying the island lifestyle.Capt. Sandy MelvinGasparilla OutfittersBoca Grande Property Owner
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Notify me of follow-up comments
Click for a larger view