Rejection depends on how you look at it

To the Editor:

I would like to remind our local newspapers that the town of Tisbury did not reject the connector road proposal. At our town meeting last week, a sizable majority, close to two-thirds, voted in favor of the plan. The vote was just seven votes short of a two-thirds majority, 147 to 77, for a percentage of 65.62 percent in favor and more than enough to defeat a filibuster in the US Senate. Because a “borrowing article” requires a two-thirds majority, one negative vote can counteract two positive votes, which means that a minority can reject almost anything.

That said, the critics of the proposal have raised important points that might have been more clearly explained. Most importantly, the road system has always been a framework for a more inclusive plan and a way forward to address a variety of critical needs.

New bike ways and hiking trails are planned as part of an open space network surrounding the Upper State Road business district, connecting Tashmoo on the north side of State Road with the woodlands and ancient ways to the south. Better access to the Park & Ride promises more use of bus transportation, possibly new bus routes and less reliance on cars. Easier access to the business district can’t be bad for business, nor should easier access to the school and the senior center be bad for kids, parents, teachers, and old folks.

Henry Stephenson

Tisbury



Comments

  1. Not on the rock anymore says:

    Jeepers Mr. Stephenson. They rejected the connector road because State law says you need 2/3rds. Doesn’t matter how you add it up and how you compare it to a US HOUSE of representatives or Senate filibuster. It failed.

    You’ll never get people to leave their cars and be less reliant of them. That’s just never going to happen.

    1. Adult_Content says:

      Public opinion changes. This plan for a connector road did not get a 2/3 majority December 2013. After enduring more summers of waiting in lines of cars and of drivers making detours through previously quiet neighborhoods, I’m sure residents will seriously reconsider this plan and others.

  2. anodyne99 says:

    “Los Angeles in the eyes of people outside of LA has always been 72
    suburbs in search of a city, very much an automobile-driven place,”
    said Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, associate dean of the Luskin School
    of Public Affairs at UCLA. “I don’t think we can see Los Angeles
    as a solely auto-centric city.”

    The city has added bike lanes and reminded drivers they must share the
    road. Los Angeles is making plans for a bike-share program similar to
    New York’s Citi Bike, the network inaugurated last month in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    Privately held Bike Nation USA announced plans last year for bike sharing in
    Los Angeles, beginning downtown this year, with as many as 4,000
    bicycles eventually.

    Excerpt:
    Many bike-sharing programs take pride in their environmental
    contribution.

    Montreal’s Bixi proudly states that its program has saved over 3,000,000 pounds of
    greenhouse gases since inception in May 2009 (Bixi 2009a). Lyon states that its
    program,which launched in 2005, has saved the equivalent of 18,600,000 pounds
    of CO2 pollution from the atmosphere (Greater Lyon 2009). The public health benefits of bike-sharing have yet to be analyzed; however, the health benefits
    of cycling are well-known

    From Portland:
    Economic Effects of Increased Bicycle Usage
    What are the economic effects of increased bicycle ridership on Portland
    residents and the city as a whole? Overall, bicycle ridership
    appears to stimulate more frequent neighborhood shopping trips and
    casual dining, facilitating the growth of many of Portland’s small
    businesses, restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

    Portland’s bike economy
    In terms of upfront personal savings, Portland’s bicycle, transit and
    pedestrian improvements mean city residents drive their cars
    significantly less than residents in comparable cities. Portland’s
    235,508 households save a total of $1.1 billion on personal
    transportation annually, approximately $800 million of which stays
    in the regional economy.[i]

    The
    list of success stories is too long to include in a comment section,
    but rest assured, people, given the chance and the bicycle lanes to
    do it, will ride bicycles and it will not only make people healthier,
    be good for the environment, but add to people shopping and dining in
    the island towns.

    1. KenEsq says:

      I don’t believe you can really compare Los Angeles, Portland and Montreal to Martha’s Vineyard. That’s not to say that biking isn’t great and I’m all for better paths throughout the island.
      People are not driving to a mall rather than biking to a local store on Martha’s Vineyard. Better bike paths are not going to convince people to shop locally any more than they do now.

      The connector road will actually help biking on the island. The less congestion on roads, and the less frustrated drivers the safer it is to ride on and across those roads.

  3. anodyne99 says:

    The connector road is being designed to accommodate bicyclists. This is part of an overall plan island wide to facilitate biking in order to reduce traffic, provide safe biking for health reasons, and reduce Co2 emissions from motor vehicles. It was mentioned in Henry Stephenson’s letter, and has everything to do with the connector road. But, if you don’t like bicycling, and that is more your point, then give your arguments why… If you agree that bicycling is important as part of the discussion, then that is better… But this forum is for all points of view.