From Facebook by Richard Harrison:
This stretch of road leads from Phillip Goldson International Airport east and south to downtown Belize City. From Manatee Lookout to Haulover Creek Bridge, the Belize Old River runs parallel to this roadway, a distance of approximately four miles.
A high-quality malecon or riverfront needs to be built along this entire river frontage, such that the river is reclaimed where necessary up to 30 ft from the curb of the roadway. In some areas the existing land will allow for more than 30 ft of development. This malecon, if planned and constructed properly in 100 ft segments, will serve many business entrepreneurs with interest in tourism services, entertainment spots, quality restaurants, duty-free gift shops, convenience stores, etc. 100 such segments can be rented for $1500/month, generating $54 million over 30 years. This will leave enough room for intermittent parking spaces, boat wharfs, public recreation gardens, natural mangrove forests and public rest rooms areas.
I can see canoe, kayak, jet ski and other water sports rentals. I can see a variety of charter boat tours up the Belize Old River and into Burdon Canal, Northern Lagoon and Gales Point Manatee. The wildlife and natural scenery is still incredible and will be enhanced once people value it for its economic returns. I can see La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge streaming past thousands of happy fans. I can see Belizeans hopping on affordable weekend boat taxis to the closer islands such as Goff Caye, Spanish Caye, etc. I can see a well lit and modern roadway leading from the airport to Haulover Creek Bridge. I can see a orderly and well maintained area where tourists entering and leaving Belize would shop for gifts and memorabilia.
Would the people be willing to pay a road-toll of $1 for such a development to take place? Especially if the development takes into account safety/security measures such that the patrons enjoy an appreciable level of safety and security in a semi-gated environment. That could raise another $30 million over 30 years.
Belize needs VISION. All infrastructure development must be approached from an integral vision that accommodates entrepreneurial and sustainable job-creating opportunities in a preconceived blue-print. Imagine if we continue to build Belize in the chaotic format of the BTL Park....or the Marine Parade that does not envision lending the waterfront to quality small-medium enterprises that the general public could enjoy and benefit from......hmmmmm
Responses from friends.....
cruise tourism with dumping ships is NOT our future. Bad vision. Thats a nightmare.
Is there mangrove in this area? If there is, and you take it down to construct a hard surface development, what happens to the services provided by the mangroves, such as storm protection, water filtering to clean water before it goes into the river, and wildlife habitat? Arenít there other places that Belize City, BZE and environs could be spiffed up? Do we have to pave over everything?