More than mopeds...

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 4:45pm

To the Editor:
About RespectBI...
Years ago the land from the Seaside expansion up to the Ernst property and down to Chapel Street was owned by Maria and Aldo Leone. Said land was donated to town by them to create Weldon’s Way and then their son Leo Leone and his beloved wife Lori Leone donated the access to the Community Center and Early Learning Center. Certain previous letters to the editor make it sound like these businesses that have been around for generations have suddenly come in to rape and pillage the island for profit, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
For months I have read in the paper, and heard during meetings, rantings about respect Block Island. However the focus seems to be solely on attacking the moped businesses based on what seems to be a personal vendetta. I’d like to hear more about how we can respect Block Island in other ways. How about fighting to provide more trash receptacles near the beach and at trail heads so people are less likely to litter? How about enforcing serving limits at bars so people aren’t stumbling through traffic at all hours of the day?
Also it’s important to mention that the “emissions” concerns over the mopeds is almost laughable because the 2021 4 stroke mopeds emit “15.29g/km (European Union emissions report)” while the emissions of a “1980s Volvo wagon is ~ 242g/km —,” just like all the other gas guzzling older cars and trucks around the island. Moving on to the widely used commercial lawnmowers seen all over the island: “according to the EPA study one 3hp lawnmower emits the same air pollution of 11 cars driving 55 mph.
If the concern is really about emissions, how about figuring out how to limit the number of visiting cars and trucks to the island? Or start forcing the lawn mowing companies to become energy efficient and purchase electric mowers?
The families being attacked are not responsible for reckless driving just like Enterprise is not responsible for someone that rents and then crashes their car. The responsibility is on the individual to respect traffic laws by staying sober and maintaining the speed limit, etc.
Can we please end this witch hunt and focus on real ways to respect Block Island that don’t ruin long-time island families’ names and livelihood?
Sincerely, long time island resident,
Bill Billings
Corn Neck Road.