To the Editor:
This is in response to “County commissioners consider charging for State Beach parking” (Oct. 10).
I have split my time living in both northern New Jersey and Martha’s Vineyard since 2002, and sometimes those combined perspectives on the way people live and the way municipalities generate revenue are quite eye-opening.
Although the article had significant and relevant points for generating income from non-Islanders in the summer, what is not mentioned is the feeling you get when you visit a place like Martha’s Vineyard after coming from the outside world. I happen to live in an area where I joke that if you stand for too long in one place and then move, someone will start developing that land. That may sound extreme, but one of the main reasons the NY/NJ metropolitan area does not feel neighborly is because you cannot step outside your door without being asked to pay for something that seemingly should be free. Once you put meters on Martha’s Vineyard, it kind of changes everything, and although they may initially be for visitors, there’s a very good chance they will eventually be for everyone.
All I can recommend here for a fresh and important non-Island perspective is to take a day and spend an afternoon in those places that are mentioned in the article, and see if the setup matches the Vineyard, or better yet, come visit New Jersey and see how it makes you feel to have to pay for just about everything except the air we breathe.