I respectfully write in opposition to the Oak Bluffs streetscape renewal plan. Parking isn’t the main story. I attended the virtual meeting of the Oak Bluffs board of selectmen on May 25 and listened to the discussion around the proposed improvement of Circuit avenue. I tried to go into it with an open mind, but I’m afraid that quickly broke down. I was appalled. I have been coming to Oak Bluffs for 65 years, longer than most of the selectmen and women have been alive. I have watched as this town has become less and less like the town of my memory. That was a place where people lived their lives — and a place where people came to share those lives during the summer.

We bought our house in 1956 and we have kept coming because we love the character of Oak Bluffs. It’s not something dreamed up in a consultant’s brain! Seems like the board always comes up with another capital project that must be done. A couple of years ago it was the restoration of the park in front of our house on Wamsutta avenue. We went to hearings and saw drawings and were told how great it would be. The project got done — the parking changed a bit — but very little else is different. Really, the way it was was fine. Now it seems we must have new sidewalks. That money was wasted and this money will also be wasted. Altering the layout of Oak Bluffs streets to make it more amenable to short-term visitors is exactly the wrong thing to do. Everyone comes because Oak Bluffs is different! It isn’t a suburb or a mall. It doesn’t try to be Disneyland or The Hamptons or Nantucket. It’s a little shabby, but oh so beautiful. Why on earth would we ever want to change the town we all love so much?

Rev. Neil A. Margetson

Oak Bluffs