Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Development--Tourists, Visit Us and Leave Your Car Behind

Why can't we do this in Newburyport? The blurb below (with a beautiful beach photo which I can't seem to import) is rotating on the homepage of www.mbta.com:

Escape to the beach with your bike through Columbus Day Weekend!

Our special Summer Weekend commuter rail has been so popular, we're extending service through October 8th, 2007. This handy short cut to the shore takes you and your bike from North Station to North Shore beaches for only $15.50 round trip. Our specially equipped Rockport Line Bike Coach accommodates 39 bikes and 42 passengers!

View Rockport Line Bike Coach schedule.

Read additional information about taking your bike on the T.

Personally, there are two types of people in the world I don't like: Yankee fans and tourists.

In both dislikes, I feel somewhat conflicted. As to the Yankees, I had the great fortune to marry a wonderful woman from Connecticut, who like her 4 grandparents, is a very devout Red Sox fan. Unfortunately, her parents (my in-laws) and her brothers (my brothers-in-law) pray to the pinstripes. Up until the 2004 World Series, this was a problem, but now we're doing okay.

As to tourists, I confess to being one myself. I've set foot in 41 of the 50 states, I've biked from San Francisco to LA, I've been to Scotland, England, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland, China, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, and Canada. I traveled so widely that my father, a Navy vet with politics somewhat to the right of Archie Bunker, was sure that I must be working for the CIA. Nope, I just like seeing places old and new.

I personally like being a tourist here in my own hometown, especially when there are few other tourists around.

I like what tourists' money can do for our local businesses. So I say, dear tourist, visit Newburyport, leave the car at home, use our bike paths which have caused so much local distress, go to our beloved Plum Island, spend your money, and keep our economy going.

Rockport? Let's talk to the MBTA and get our own promotion next year!

1 comment:

Bruce Menin said...

Ed- I've long been of the belief that a balanced approach to development is the way to go. Personally, I think that Newburyport should be generating a lot more activity around promoting itself as an environmental and historic "destination." Parker River is considered to be one of the top ten birding spots in the nation, and there is even a wonderful, "state of the art" Audubon sanctuary en route. Even in the industrial park, birds that disappeared 20-30 years ago are starting to come back. Five miles from the mouth of the Merrimack some of the rarest animals in the world are spotted every summer (Right Whales); and the pelagic birds you can see on whale-watching trips are breathtaking.

High Street is known throughout the world, and written up in a number of architecture texts, as a virtual smorgasbord of American architecture, the greaatest collection of styles on one street, from the 1600's to the 1950's. Virtually every architectural style is represented.

Lafayette slept here, Garrison spoke about abolition here, at least until he was run out of town. The Underground Railroad ran through here, as did local efforts to avoid prohibition.

Why aren't we doing more to make this town a destination for these folks?

I can tell you from personal experience that getting up at sunrise to spend two hours in the brisk morning air looking at our winged friends works up a powerful appetite.

Keep blogging, Ed.