To the Editor:
As an elected member of the Oak Bluffs planning board and a member of the streetscape committee, I would like to offer a few additions/corrections to your last editorial regarding the streetscape plan for Oak Bluffs (“Take it slow,” April 15). For starters, you mention the potential loss of 12 to 19 spaces on Circuit Ave. in order to have wider, safer, ADA-compliant sidewalks. No mention of the additional 12 spots being added by the harbor and Kennebeck Avenue. Also, no mention of the spots that were already added by the west side of the harbor, all spots a brief walk to town.
Here is a quote: “We liked the idea presented by Doug Abdelnour, owner of Nancy’s, who suggested surveying all business owners on Circuit Ave. to understand what they’d like to see in the streetscape plans.” If you attended our last meeting, which was before the editorial was
printed, you would know the business owners on Circuit Ave were surveyed, and the overwhelming majority favored parallel parking the entire length of Circuit. More than what is in the current plan. Also, if you’re going to bring up Mr. Abdelnour, why didn’t you mention he is a streetscape member, and favors the change to parallel parking?
As far as the overall theme and title of the editorial to “Take it slow” and “to foster more conversations,” it’s insulting to the streetscape committee. The streetscape committee has been going on for seven years. There has been extensive outreach to the public, both online and in person, in season and off-season. The original engineering firm for the plan said we far exceeded any other town they worked with as far as outreach. There have been public meetings and town votes, most if not all covered by The Times. At the most recent vote, last year in the Tabernacle, the town voted overwhelmingly to approve the plan with parallel parking for half of the street.