To the editor:
Regarding the question of an “open” or developed” waterfront, several important points about the current proposals may need further consideration.
First, noise pollution. Adding more living units will increase the population density, and consequently the noise, in an already crowded area. It also seems that some people are expected to be outdoors in public late at night; if not, why should bathrooms and showers be kept open round the clock? What are these people doing, roaming around in the night? And are they doing it quietly? Think about it.
Noise pollution is already a problem and it’s getting worse. Leaf-blowers, lawnmowers and big beeping trucks get louder all the time; rock music blaring out of restaurants and party boats can aggravate our nerves in ways that are not yet fully understood. Putting a garage under the new condominiums would require many months of pile-driving and other construction/noises, during which time walking along the boardwalk would be unbearable. Is this desirable? Think about it.
Second, congestion. Downtown and surrounding residential neighborhoods now sport many narrow, crooked streets — parking on weekends is already a big problem. Do we really want to make it worse by adding condos, more restaurants and maybe a hotel? How will further crowding impact those who chose Newburyport as a pleasant and peaceable place to raise their families, live out their lives?
Third, insulting our intelligence. To claim that restaurants and shops on the waterfront are needed so that people can stay warm and comfy in the wintertime is ridiculous! Some residents love to walk in all weathers, plus there are such items as warm winter outerwear. There are already several excellent restaurants and many fine shops a block or two away from the waterfront, and I have yet to encounter one solid reason why we need any more.