May 15, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1918 Nantucket lifts car ban

Nantucket Island voted to lift its controversial 12-year ban on automobiles. First famous as an insular whaling community off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket Island has become one of the Northeast's most exclusive tourist attractions. The original inhabitants of Nantucket were predictably resistant to the idea of automobiles overrunning their island. While the advent of the motor car didn't spell disaster for the island then, the fears of early residents may yet become a reality. As Nantucket's popularity rises, even the year-long waiting list for the car ferry can't seem to stem the tide of vehicles. The island's tourist board has attempted to institute an affordable and reliable island shuttle, but vacationers in this country want to go wherever their cars will take them. A delicate ecological structure of bogs, tidal thickets, and dune beaches, Nantucket is susceptible to the pollutants and erosion problems brought on by the increasing numbers of vehicles. The new Nantucket "natives," largely seasonal retirees, have pooled their not insignificant resources with the purpose of protecting the island. Others, though, accuse the conservationists of only wanting to conserve an uncrowded escape from their East Coast power perches.

Posted by Quality Weenie at May 15, 2006 07:09 AM | TrackBack