Letter to the Editor: Gordon L. Smith on the loss of tranquility on the island

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Dear Editor,
Letters-to-the-EditorI am here visiting San Pedro again. I am addressing this letter to the people of San Pedro and to the Town Board and the Minister for tourism. I am upset. I was here five years ago and stayed a year. My, how the town has changed. I think it has changed for the worse in one regard. I was not prepared for the many golf carts crowding the downtown streets. As an American tourist from a different country the situation looks dangerous and very non-relaxing. I stepped out of the door at Smart phone and within one foot of their front door a taxi nearly ran me over. Who would have expected a situation that dangerous to be permitted in a town that supposedly wants tourists. Not only are there too many golf carts and taxis, but the streets have as many pedestrians, bicyclists, and tourists who are not used to that conglomeration of vehicles and people. Do you know that you are killing tourism for the future. If tourism has slowed down now, this is one of the reasons in my opinion. When I spoke to one of the policemen, he said that he didn’t think that there was any plan to change things in the future. But more golf cart or taxi permits may be issued. Your children will not be happy with the town five years from now when you have destroyed the major source of foreign funds into the local businesses. Have you thought about your reputation as a tourist destination?
But I have a suggestion. Back street has quite a bit of room for parking and there is an open soccer field there too. Perhaps it could be used as a parking lot. It could handle two hundred golf-carts and cars. If you closed off Middle Street and just made it a walking mall, you would have regained some sanity and charm to the town. People walking tend to stop in the shops more rather than just driving past because they can’t find a parking place. People might be happier and more tranquil. Tranquility is what vacation guests are here for. Perhaps this traffic situation has grown up slowly over the past five years and now you are used to it. But the tourists aren’t and they will likely not come back. They may find a different place that is more relaxing. A place where the officials are more considerate of their safety.
As an outsider, I do not wish to be too critical, but I doubt that you can see objectively a situation that you have gotten used to and is bad for everybody. Please consider changing it….walking on Middle Street would not be a bad thing. You would probably meet somebody you know and have a nice chat.
Gordon L. Smith


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