To the Editor:
The June 7 issue of the Beacon detailed the GICIA’s extensive and expensive two block beautification of the bike path through the commercial district.
In summarizing the work and GICIA’s objective the Beacon quoted Executive Director Misty Nichols, “The improvements to the Town Park are a project of the GICIA whose mission is to promote the general welfare of the Boca Grande Community by preserving island life.”
Great work, congrats, and so far so good. But what about the four blocks of Gilchrist Avenue just to the west?
In May the voting members of the GICIA board cast their ballots unanimously for what they at first advertised as the Crowninshield Plan. This bit of editorial hyperbole was withdrawn after Davis Hammond complained of the appropriation of his great aunt’s name for rhetorical purposes. The Inn Plan was then adopted as the title in eponymous recognition of its first mover; on the other hand some wags have taken to calling it the Darth Vader option.
It’s said that a mark of intelligence is to be able to hold simultaneously two contradictory sentiments. If this is true the GICIA board is chock full of Mensa quality members.
The Inn Plan would convert the largest public green space in the Historic District to a parking deck, which would accommodate 72 vehicles per block from First Street to Fifth Street. This density translates into 288 perpendicular “nose to nose” spaces.
This kind of concentration is hard to get one’s mind around; it’s like a trillion dollars. What would a pile of a thousand billion crisp Franklins look like? What’s a visual approximation for 300 cars parked door to door and headlight to headlight? While I can’t help with the former there is a handy proxy for the parking question.
Next time you turn off Placida Road (775) and make for the causeway, notice the parking lots on your right. The first one is owned by the county and the second is at Eldred’s Marina. The county lot can accept about 80 vehicles and Eldred’s accommodates something like 200 in front and annex to the rear. I invite you to take a quick tour of each, preferably on a weekend, to get a sense for what some people have in mind for the Gilchrist median.
Bill RegneryBoca Grande
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