Letters to the Editor

Something smells in Oak Harbor-ville

My husband and I recently watched on our local cable station, the Oak Harbor City Council meeting regarding the potential road changes to Pioneer Way.

In this televised meeting, business owners on Pioneer Way voiced their opinions. Their personal comments, combined with factual data supporting their positions, were well thought out, heartfelt and concisely delivered. Nearly all of the business owners strongly opposed anything other than a two-way street. What a shock it was to read in the Whidbey News-Times that the Oak Harbor City Council had voted 4-3 to make Pioneer one-way!

It was also curious to read that the vote preceded the arrival, by a few days, of a new council member who has stated he would be in favor of a two-way street.

Our first thought after reading the article was something sure smells bad in “Oak Harbor-ville”!

Who will benefit from the demise of Pioneer Way as a viable shopping destination? When all the businesses are gone from Pioneer Way, will there be a fire sale of property where mega condos can be built with “Waterfront View” listings?

Do we really believe putting a few “bistro tables” on huge sidewalks and making our visitors drive around the town four or five times on one-way streets will really turn us into a quasi-Langley/Coupeville?

The historical integrity of this town was changed forever when Oak Harbor removed heritage homes and farms for big box stores. We’re a proud Navy town now, not a bedroom community of Everett.

Leave the only area left with any historical relevance to those who own and run the businesses on Pioneer Way. They have a much better understanding of what is needed for their businesses to survive. Listen to them!

Let’s see fiscally responsible spending from our City Council to fix infrastructure (water mains) in the least painful way.

Let’s accommodate patronage to our wonderful Pioneer Way businesses lest we end up bemoaning a wasteful $8.35 million folly.

Laura and Bret Medbury

Oak Harbor

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