Last week, for the fifth day in a row I sat in traffic that barely crawled past our new Shore Rd. "Stop & Shop" and "Senior Housing Development" sites. Among the many things I had time to ponder during these delays was the overdevelopment of the sites and where very little land is left for the beautiful landscaping we had been promised. In contrast, to this construction bustle, the west side of Shore Rd. facing Manhasset Bay, where Lewis Oil's tankers once docked, was strangely quiet. This was the site promised to the greater Port Washington community as a park and the continuation of the publicly accessible peninsula trail. We traded our environmental concerns about safe water, waste and traffic for this visual open space, hoping it would make the overdevelopment of the east side of Shore Rd. more palatable. But the lack of any work on this site makes me worry about the future of our promised park and trail.
Almost 40 years ago while looking for a home on this peninsula, I had an epiphany-like experience while driving up Port Washington's Shore Rd. under a magenta sky lit by the quickly setting sun. The unique and simple beauty of this road, between the Baxter Estates and Mill Pond on the east, the boats and docks of Manhasset Bay to the west, was something I'll never forget. This helped forge my commitment to this community.
Today, this sheer beauty is threatened on every side. The Village of Port Washington North must fulfill its promise to all of us who travel this road. This small parcel of the waterfront property must be kept forever free of any encumbrances and be allowed to remain part of our visual heritage.