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Monday, May 2, 2011

A Search for Blue Shutters Beach

A couple weeks ago we were out for dinner with some friends (Milagro in Stonington, check it out) and conversation turned to the proposed new beach structures and how terrible the current facilities are. Our friend, with much experience about how Charlestown works, predicted that we'll see lots of resistance to approving the new buildings and I nodded, thinking about the usual difficulty getting any spending approved in spite of the tremendous financial benefits to our town from tourism and I said as much.

He replied, “No, it isn’t about spending. The people around East Beach Road will fight anything that could make Blue Shutters Beach more popular because they want less beach traffic in their neighborhood.”

This reminded me of the airport where I once lived, built way out in the country in the middle of nowhere. After 20 years it was surrounded by housing and there was hell to pay when the airport wanted to add a runway. The homeowners, who all knowingly bought next to the airport, demanded no more airport noise. It’s just human nature.

This conversation also triggered another thought – I see signs pointing to Charlestown Beach every time I go to Downtown Charlestown but I didn’t recall seeing signs for Blue Shutters Beach. My photography staff had the weekend off so I grabbed my camera and headed out to find the signs I must have missed.

On the way I saw one of what must be over a half-dozen signs pointing the way to Charlestown Beach and the Breachway.

I headed down Route 1 and at the exit for East Beach Road I pull (safely) off the road to take a picture of the sign directing me to Blue Shutters Beach. See it?   Hmmm.
Non-sign Directing Visitors to Blue Shutters Beach

I went down to West Beach Road and turned around to see the signage from the other direction. The signs that way are just as clear about the proper turn for Blue Shutters Beach. Meaning nonexistent. I wanted to take another photo but there wasn't a shoulder on the road there.

Then I headed down East Beach Road to see the Welcome sign at the entrance to the beach parking. Can you see it in this photo?

Welcome to Blue Shutters Beach

Here's the equivalent photo at Charlestown Beach.

While I'm there I take a photo of the building for the Charlestown promotional brochure that I'm working on.

That'll promote the town, won't it? Probably just like some will prefer.

As I'm heading home I take another sign photo.

During the rest of my drive home I reflected on a conversation I had with a neighbor a few years ago. I asked why the roads leading to our homes had no signs. The neighbor replied, "Oh, we had signs once but we didn't want people wandering down here looking for access to the pond so someone took them down."

Author: Tom Ferrio