Preserving a national treasure

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July 26, 2017

Dear Editor,

I spent the past weekend on beautiful Harbour Island. The ride from Nassau to Harbour Island and back is a beautiful experience, especially if the boat is not too "jammed up".
Harbour Island is a Bahamian gem. Its success is replicated in several of our islands but not to Harbour Island's extent. Harbour Island is special.
Harbour Island has small hotels, complemented by any number of smaller properties (bed and breakfast types) with homeowners, many of whom are Bahamians, who make their properties available to renters, at a pretty good price. There is no shortage of takers. All of this is complemented by an increasing number of high net worth individuals who continue to build very expensive homes. All of the above provide jobs for the island's residents, from contractors, to hospitality personnel, to yard maintenance professionals.
The downside of the island is, regrettably, why I write this letter.
Every time I visit Harbour Island, I see the increased deterioration of the island. I cannot figure out why the island's councilors and former representatives were not able to arrest the deterioration and preserve this special place.
The increased filthiness, the dilapidated golf carts along the streets and in private yards, the uncontrolled traffic in the main business areas, especially close to the conch stands, all lead to the decay of this island. Harbour Island was especially idyllic and picturesque for its simplicity, its cleanliness and for its many golf carts motoring along the way.
Suddenly large cars and trucks have begun to consume the island. Why do you need a Ford F-150 on an island that is three and a half miles long and a half-mile wide? Half of the three and a half miles is private residential space, and so the travel space is approximately 1.8 miles long. Do you really need a huge truck or car to travel 1.8 miles? Are you kidding? Can you imagine a car or truck travelling at 20 mph hitting a golf cart broadside?
Yes, you need trucks and heavy equipment for construction and heavy-duty projects. You do not need them for cruising about town. It makes no sense. The increased number of cars and trucks is destroying the island.
I have spoken with the island's representative and I know the passion that he and the minister for the environment have for keeping the environment as friendly as possible.
Too many of our islands and settlements continue to fall apart, primarily because of the economy. That is not Harbour Island's apparent problem. I am hopeful that Harbour Island, a thriving economy, can regain and retain its idyllic ways.

- The Accountant

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News date : 07/26/2017    Category : Letters, Nassau Guardian Stories

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