Make things better

Make things better

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To the Editor:

Now that we are in the new year, let’s think about how to make things different and better for living in Vineyard Haven in the summer. Let’s get a discussion going about traffic mitigation measures. Here are some thoughts:

It would require some study, but could we fit a roundabout at Five Corners? Could trucks manage to navigate it?

Enforce the posted speed limit of 20 mph going towards Five Corners on State Road at the Edgartown Road intersection. A traffic light or an electronic sign there would help to allow cars turning left off the Edgartown Road. A traffic light would be better, but some people have a severe aversion to them. They see visions of big box stores like Super Stop and Shops…oops.

We could get people out of their cars at Park ‘n Ride. Make it user friendly with a terminal for purchasing tickets, a cafe, and rest rooms. People going to/from the ferry could then take the shuttle. Could the SSA help with this?

Encourage people to walk.

Why can’t Vineyard Haven do more things with the embarkation fee money to mitigate summer traffic? After reading the list of current proposals it doesn’t seem to change anything.

Lastly, it’s good advice to never go to, or through, V.H. in the summer without checking the SSA schedule first. Keep one on your visor, and please walk if you can.

Marie Laursen



  1. How about, for starters, at least test the concept of a four-way stop at the intersection at Edgartown and State Roads? How much would it cost to put up two new stop signs along with signage indicating that it’s a four-way stop at that intersection? And possibly a little extra support in the beginning in the form of a traffic officer? Seems like a simple solution that would give travelers from every direction equal footing. While the battles rage, at least folks will be able to drive through that intersection.

    1. I don’t think a 4 way stop there would do much to help summer traffic. If you are going down into town from Cronigs, you are stopped by traffic heading into town, so it would not help at all in that direction. Traffic coming up the hill is impaired by people turning left onto the edg rd. It might help them a little, and it would certainly help people turning left from the edg rd going to Cronigs.
      But to have every car stop there all the time would be a real waste of time and gas.
      The simple solution is to convince some of your friends and neighbors to stop and let the traffic off the Edgartown rd to turn left.
      What I see there is that impatient people going down hill block the intersection. I have no idea why they do that.. they are just going to roll another hundred ft down the hill and stop anyway. If they would only leave space for cars to make that left turn (both ways) it would really help. Of course , we can’t count on tourist to do that, because they don’t know what is going on there… But we vineyarders could clear that intersection out just by being nice..
      that connector road Tisbury keeps shooting down would be good.

      1. The simple solution is to convince some of your friends and neighbors to stop and let the traffic off the Edgartown rd to turn left.

        Every other car. I try to set an example, sometimes it catches on. A little courtesy goes a long way at congested intersections! Besides, you have the good feeling of making someone who was trying to turn left feel a bit better for a while…

  2. I love the roundabout , and was certain it would work from the beginning. a few more here would be great.. But I am doubtful about one at 5 corners. The reason being, that sometimes in the summer, traffic backs up going on to Main street. if it backed up into 5 corners with a roundabout there, it would immediately create “roundabout lock”
    if one spoke of the rbt was jammed, nothing could get through in any direction. That would obviously not be good.
    A simpler idea would be to put red “yield” signs on the 3 lanes that currently have stop signs. To your typical tourist, ( and the rest of the civilized world ) a stop sign means you stop and wait for traffic to clear before you go. Something that doesn’t happen there during the day in the summer. The result is confused tourist who just sit there. A yield would let them know this is a blending situation, and they might feel freer to nudge their way into traffic, which is all you can really do..

  3. Good idea about keeping a ferry schedule.
    The ferry schedule is pretty easy to figure out.. A boat leaves every hour and 15 minutes on either side of noon. .

    9:30, 10:45, noon 1:15,, 2:30 etc

    A boat arrives 30 minutes before that..

    freight boat is a wild card..