Quality of life

To the Editor:

It is time to take back our town.

Bar Harbor has unveiled a streetscape plan to gentrify Cottage Street. It appears to me that the intent is to encourage tourist pedestrian traffic in sections of town which to some extent still belong to the residents. One of the essential 15-minute parking spaces in front of the post office has been eliminated to create more greenery and incite people to Barker Park.

We can now expect to encounter tourists walking five abreast eating ice cream cones and blocking the sidewalk when we try to do business at the post office. Costs mentioned for the Cottage Street project are somewhere between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.

Bar Harbor is also considering buying the former ferry terminal property for about the same amount of money. It could develop the property for the cruise ship industry or it could create a small scale marine facility with wonderful potential to benefit the residents. Imagine access to the water with parking available.

Forty years ago, I had a friend who kept her rowboat tied to one of the floats at the Bar Harbor pier and enjoyed rowing to Ironbound Island.

Now the big boats and ships own the harbor, and most of us see the pier only in winter. While other Mainers hibernate in winter, we now hibernate from mid June to mid-October to avoid the overcrowding in town and in the national park.

It is time to care about our quality of life. We’ve emphasized tourism for too long. I don’t care if Cottage Street looks run down. I’d rather see an effort to add affordable apartments to it rather than those dreadful bumpouts with sick, scrawny trees like on Main Street. I’d love to see a marina and multi-use boating facility at the ferry terminal property, something we all could enjoy.

Laureen Donnelly

Town Hill

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