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Grants could be put to better use

By Staff | Apr 23, 2009

To the editor,

I read your article in last week’s Island Reporter. My husband and I were at the meeting on April 2 and I’d like to share a few points that expand on what you wrote:

Many of the participants commented that, except for the need to resurface the road for bikers and add additional parking spaces, “Ding” Darling is in good shape and there are no traffic problems.

The only congestion is on Periwinkle; San-Cap Road (the entrance to “Ding” Darling) is never crowded.

Other comments from the group included:

If trams or boats are used to bring visitors to “Ding” Darling, they will have to make stops at restaurants as there are no eating facilities at the refuge.

To be fair to all businesses, the tram will need to make stops at a variety of restaurants and stores.

This will increase – not decrease congestion, as cars will have to make way for large vehicles and availability of parking spaces could also be a problem.

Since restaurants are already very crowded during high season, how will busloads of people be served?

Your article listed the four goals of the project. Allow me to respond to each:

Conserve natural, historical and cultural resources – Bringing in buses/trams or boats will have the opposite effect.

Reduce congestion and pollution – Buses/trams will increase both.

Improve visitor mobility and accessibility – Visitors have no problem getting to and around the island now.

Enhance the visitor experience – Having to park your car and get on a public vehicle, and not be able to come and go at your own pace, will not enhance the experience.

Many of those at the meeting believe this project has a hidden agenda, which is to bring more visitors to the island to spend money and to increase LeeTran’s revenue opportunities. Sadly, the residents will not even have an opportunity to vote on the decisions made, and if this goes further our island will suffer as a result. Surely, the Federal grants could be put to better use.

Edina Lessack

Sanibel