Fish pier, yes, but …


To the Editor:

The NBNHA (North Bluff Neighborhood Homeowners’ Association), representing 14 families on the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs, was surprised to learn that plans were well underway to build a large public pier in our neighborhood. We welcome the idea of a handicapped-accessible, public fishing pier, but we have several concerns over the possible impacts of such a structure on our residential enclave, if built directly in front of Pasque Avenue, as is currently proposed.

We worry about traffic, which is already congested and bottlenecked at our tip of the Island, due to ferry traffic.

We have concerns about parking. This is currently a difficult but contained problem, but one new attraction could break a delicate balance.

The potential for noise, amplified by water, is daunting, especially because this pier is to be open 24/7 and would be directly across from homes and porches.

We fear the pier will present an opportunity for loitering and substance abuse.

This is a public beach used for swimming. Some of us swim there on a daily basis, as does the general public. Fishing lines and tackle could injure swimmers.

We worry that bait, blood, and fish remains might attract gulls, cormorants, rats, and skunks.

The handicapped accessibility of the pier is dependent on a separate boardwalk project, which has neither been approved nor funded yet. This could wind up being a state‑funded pier to nowhere for those with wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.

From an overall planning perspective, wouldn’t the immediate other side of the ferry dock make more sense? The infrastructure of public buildings, a bus stop, and parking already exist right there, well-patrolled and tended, plus offering a built‑in buffer zone between the nearest homes and any impacts a pier could produce.

Belleruth Naparstek

President, NBNHA

Mark and Patty Wallace, Jason and Injy Lew, Bill and Maureen Anderson, Harvey and Nicole Russell, Al Read, Anne Le Guern, Fran Gailey, Kieth Radcliffe, Lon and Nancy Hendricks, Joanne Nerenberg