Automobiles on Blacktip Island will be harder to come by after the island’s council voted to limit the number of motor vehicles on the small Caribbean island. (photo by Samson Post/Blacktip Times staff)
In a 2-1 vote Wednesday, the Blacktip Island Council opted to limit the number of motor vehicles on the Caribbean island in what backers called an attempt to keep the 100-resident island true to its rustic roots.
“We’re saving Blacktip’s charm,” council member Maxie Fondé said. “Visitors come here for quiet, unspoiled nature. Cars and trucks and scooters take away from that.”
Other ban supporters cited population concerns.
“The island’s getting too crowded,” council member Clete Horn said. “Last week I had to stop at the stop sign. Today I had to use my turn signal. Twice. If I wanted to deal with that kind of hassle, I’d live in Miami.
“You used to be able to tell who was coming down the road just by the sound of the car,” Horn said. “Now, I don’t recognize half of them by sight. Any more cars, we’ll be putting up traffic lights. And crosswalks”
The ban limits households and businesses to one vehicle, provided a compelling reason to have a vehicle can be shown.
“Construction companies or Public Works, they need their trucks,” Fondé said. “Divemasters or bar staff that live a mile from the resort? They can ride bikes. Or walk.”
Many businesses owners oppose the ban.
“We’re supposed to get all our guests to and from the airfield in one van?” dissenting council member and Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt said. “They’re hamstringing my livelihood. If Maxie and Clete don’t like cars, let them walk. I’m not giving up my vehicles.”
Many residents, though, expect the ban to be good for the island.
“Fewer cars means less pollution, less used motor oil and auto batteries in the dump,” resident Goby Graysby said. “They should make the law stricter and only allow Smart cars. Embarrassment would keep people from wanting to drive.”
Others residents concurred.
“We’re going to use a donkey cart to takes guests to and from the air strip,” Blacktip Haven resort owner Elena Havens said. “The guests’ll love it and it’s eco-friendly. Plus, we can also rent it out for kiddie rides when business gets slow.”