A tiny riverside Maryland village is putting up a large-scale fight to keep tourists out and stop the renovation of a ferry dock that would allow visiting buses into their town.
The Talbot County Council earlier this year proposed renovating a dock on the Eastern Shore that accommodates the oldest ferry in continuous operation in the United States, city officials said.
The ferry carries mostly bicyclists and small cars across the Tred Avon River between Oxford and Bellevue. A repaired dock would mean that larger vehicles and robust summer crowds would also have access to the hamlet of 800.
"People have just raised the devil. In Oxford and St. Michaels there have been so many tourists they are fed up with it and don't want any more," said County Council President Herbert Andrew III.
The residents of the waterfront village complain that tourists clog their streets, leave trash in their town park, and peer through the windows of their "quaint" frame houses.
The town commission even has complained about the adverse affects of good publicity Oxford received when it was chosen by a national magazine as one of the top 10 towns to live in in the nation.
"We don't want to encourage charter buses and trucks. The charm is that big buses and trucks don't come here," said Jennifer Stanley, an Oxford resident. The County Council will decide in January whether to renovate the dock or to repair it without increasing its weight capacity.