To the Editor:
The Martha’s Vineyard Commission should not enable an unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars on building a roundabout at the blinking light. Whether local, state, or federal dollars are used, it’s still a waste. If it is really necessary to find a way to facilitate traffic those few weeks of the year and/or hours of the day when there are backups, the blinker could become a timed traffic light, accommodating the relatively heavier flow on the Edgartown Road compared to Barnes.
The blinker works well at all other times. I realize some people have an aversion to a red-yellow-green traffic light on the Island (“rural character,” etc.), but how is a large traffic circle not urban/suburban?
Furthermore, that aversion is, in my opinion, a little misplaced. It’s the number of vehicles on the road that truly affects the rural character of the Island, not the assistive devices introduced to deal with the traffic.
The arguments regarding safety in an emergency response do not convince, either. The road is wide enough for cars to pull over safely, even on Barnes, and it is hard to imagine how an emergency vehicle would get through a roundabout itself, since many drivers, when unnerved by sirens and flashing lights, simply stop in their tracks.
In sum, we do not need a roundabout. It’s too expensive, it’s ugly (in my opinion), and I am not convinced it will solve the problems put forward to justify its construction.