Wednesday afternoon, the MinTour got into the glass cabin of an excavator, and symbolically scratched the impossibly hard and compact Malmok trail topography, signifying the beginning of the boardwalk project.
Originally, the ministry in collaboration with DOW presented Preserva Malmok, the neighborhood association with a somewhat elaborate plan. The plan was then downscaled and modified, in order to accommodate the neighborhood’s wishes to enhance safety, but minimize development.
With the emphasis on minimum development.
In fact, the neighborhood wants nothing developed. It likes it just the way it is, low key, people bring their own chairs to the beach, no kiosks, no services. After all, you cannot make it more beautiful, and all it needs is protection from litter and misuse.
Last year, in the wake of a number of accidents, the neighborhood capitulated. Yes, to a bike trail. Yes, to a walkway. Yes, to safety. No, to tall light poles, no, to parking lots, no, to diving platforms, no, to picnic areas, no, to cutting trees.
Malmok is not inviting more traffic or more people. It is already overwhelmed by the noise of long columns at UTVs and ATVs ‘just driving’ through the neighborhood.
You should have seen the picture: The MinTour is hosting a flash press conference, on location, he talks about the calm & tranquility of the neighborhood, but you can’t hear a word he is saying because of the ATV traffic on the road behind him.
Which prompted one of the neighbors on hand to say that decision makers make decisions from their desks, without actually experiencing the locations they are about to change.
But overall the neighborhood appreciates that the Ministry & DOW took their concerns into consideration, and that MinTour talks a good talk. He champions sustainability, and people being central to his party’s platform.
He stayed, he listened, he looked around, he experienced firsthand, life bao palo.
A local company will be building the boardwalk, Thiel Corp., and we are hopeful they will tread carefully, and deliver protection to turtles, and the barranca, preserving the unique laidback flavor of the neighborhood.
All island neighborhoods should take a page out of the Malmok handbook and register an association. You stand a better chance to be heard that way.