Saturday, May 30, 2015

Slow Spell or Disappearing Honeybee Colony?

I'm not a 'the sky is falling' type individual most of the time. Running down the lane and spreading alarm has come in most circumstances to mean little. Usually, the things we worry about don't happen. Sometimes, however, the sky may actually be falling, but we don't see it.

As for island transportation, my views come from being one of the few who have recently come to Matinicus to try and stay year round- recently meaning about a decade ago. I didn't really make it for a bunch of reasons. I hope to get back to year round living some day.

Matinicus has a vibrant if smallish community. There is housing stock. There are work opportunities. 

What do not exist are meaningful transportation options for people and goods. Even the biggest lobster boats get hauled out at the end of the season. The ferry goes to once or twice a month in the darker months.

I don't think we can compare Matinicus' lack of real transportation with rusty bridges or other infrastructure needing repairs and prioritize ourselves downward as a result. It is more akin to a small remote township where the state just decided not to build a bridge or a road at all, and then expect people to fly, canoe, mush or skidder themselves into town for groceries and then back home.

It's hard to know what might happen if families could actually get back and forth to the mainland a couple of times a week instead of monthly in the winter. Would Matinicus turn into Martha's Vineyard on Monhegan in the summer? I doubt it. Would families be able to relocate and find housing, make a life and educate their kids, at least through 8th grade? I bet they could. If the kids come, the rest of the community takes on a life that is missing otherwise. Or it could just be my self-centered perspective.

If there continue to be no real transportation options, there may be a point at which colony collapse occurs due to insufficient personnel, and insufficient utility or air service customers to spread costs over.

We aren't necessarily headed the way of Metinic or Ragged Islands, but it might be worth imagining what it would take to not go there.

No comments:

Post a Comment