Skip Lane is a native Westporter, former professional football player and current realtor who grew up on Soundview Drive. He’s also a member of the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee.
Yesterday he emailed “06880.” Emphasizing that he is speaking only for himself, he offers these insights into the current — and, he hopes, future — state of the beach:
Our volunteer committee was organized to improve the overall beach experience. Collectively the committee has hundreds of years of experience at the beach, but we all acknowledge that beach life has changed.
The number of people using it all year round, and the number of walkers and runners, has increased dramatically.
Our 1st goal is to address these people, and make the beach more accessible for these activities. We think we have done so, by adding a pedestrian path from one end of the beach to the other.
Our 2nd concern is the queuing of cars trying to get into the beach. I think the proposed plan addresses this as well.
The bathhouse is a disgrace. It needs to be updated and storm-proofed.
The big issue of public concern seems to be the proposal to move cars away from our beautiful beach.
If you go to any beautiful beach on the East Coast, you do not see any cars parked along the actual shore. From Cape Cod to Nantucket, the natural beauty of the shore is protected. The beaches are differentiated from parking lots. Why should we park on ours?
Our committee examined other beaches along the coast. We decided our beach would be much more natural and beautiful if we moved the cars back, and made the beach a beach. God forbid Westporters have to walk an extra 30 yards.
I recommend everyone go and walk Fairfield beach, Sherwood Island, Hammonaset and most beaches north of that. Compo will never be a state park, but do know that those parks were designed by professionals who had the natural beauty of the beach in mind.
I understand the issue of senior citizens, and I think we need to address them.
But imagine you are in your beach chair. You turn around and see sand and sea grass, instead of steel and chrome. It’s a tad less convenient, but imagine the difference. That is all I ask.
(The committee’s next meeting is Wednesday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall Room 201. To follow the progress of the committee, and make comments, click here.)