Friday, July 12, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Leslie Snyder on Traffic


Dear Editor:
Letters-to-the-EditorWe have been visiting for many years in a row and would like to express our observations.
This year we vacationed after Easter in the hopes for another great vacation and a relaxing traffic situation. For years it has been wonderful to drive a golf cart around town. This golf cart system is also used and supported on Catalina Island in California. Unfortunately, what we noticed was that the charm of the island is quickly eroding and close to being ruined.
We’ve had heavy dust on roads mixed with the bad exhaust from heavy, large construction vehicles and annoying, speeding taxi drivers. Many times the taxis passed us, putting children on the side of the road at risk. The large trucks take up 3/4 of the road and put the pavement into risk of breaking. This will eventually cost the residents lots of money for repairs!
In addition, on many days with less breeze, there was an odor of garbage, pollution and sewage on the road into town. What is happening to the most wonderful place we’ve found in the past? Are there too many tourists to manage? Can you not control the results of more people coming to your island? This is not acceptable!!
For the last two years there was a new sense of total rudeness by car drivers and an overall sense of ‘No Respect’ from some car and taxi drivers towards golf cart tourists.
Some few years ago we had been treated friendly and we felt welcome by everyone. Local people were humble then, shy, polite and respectful. They seemed to be proud that they could share their island with us. A few years of success had changed some of your general population’s attitude. Arrogance and indifference has creeped in, some of this comes from quick financial success created by a few years of positive tourist reviews. Reviews about the island are going to change for the worse!
This year we had locals driving by with double our golf cart speed, showing off their Polaris or pick up trucks leaving us behind in a dust cloud, while smiling at us like saying: “Eat my dust, tourist. I am now the big shot here on this island”. Not only that, they are reading their mobile phones. How many more serious accidents does it take to make your residents stop and think about this safety problem????
To top it off, your so adorable island appeal and style is being taken down by disgusting construction inappropriate for such a cozy, small island. We saw new construction being built in the ugliest of styles, high buildings being squeezed on smallest of lots; shoe box condos. Everything seems to point towards a cheap and unregulated time-share island destined for low end tourism. City planning is obviously needed!! This is all to the dislike of middle and upper class tourists visiting your island. They will surely stay away.
Overall we got a sense of lack of caring, a lack of knowledge, experience and education to handle a tourist’s well-being, with an increasing local arrogance while ignoring everything what would be best for a prosperous long term future.
We feel that your island once known as La Isla Bonita will soon be known as “La Isla El Tráfico”, the Traffic Island of Belize.
Your island is sliding deeper and deeper into an irreparable hole of “nowhere and nothing” as a desirable tourist destination.
Our views were certainly shared by several other tourists we had talked to.
Leslie Snyder

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