To the Editor:
Following the recent bicycle tragedy in Vineyard Haven, there has been increased interest and attention paid on the Island to the issue of bicycle safety. There should be all this and more.
As a society, we are often moved to action after such a great loss, so we can honor it, heal from it, and learn from it. Yes, riding a bicycle, walking, driving, all present risks, and individuals must do their part to protect themselves, but it is our responsibility as a community to reduce those risks as best we can. Steady improvements to the Island’s bike path system have been made, but there are a few glaring problem areas that call out for action.
Meshacket Road from the Morning Glory Farm on the West Tisbury Road in Edgartown, to where it turns into Clevelandtown Road before finally reaching Katama Road, is a highly dangerous route for cyclists. Perhaps there is no more perilous stretch of road, with such twists and turns and side roads, on the Island. Cyclists, often families with kids, use this narrow route, shared with trucks, buses, cars, and pedestrians, to connect two key parts of town, both of which do have bike paths. A safe biking route between them is long overdue.
From discussions over the years with town officials, I know making a bike path along this admittedly treacherous route would present some difficulties, some expense, and some imagination. I say the safety of the ever-increasing number of bicyclists is more than worth the effort it will take to make this necessity a reality.