New shuttle aims to reduce gridlock in Menemsha

A sign on the corner of North Road and Tabor House Road directs vehicle drivers to the Menemsha shuttle lot. — Photo courtesy of Tim Carroll

Menemsha is well-known for its picturesque scenery and sunsets — and bumper-to-bumper gridlock when many motorists jockey for not so many parking spots.

In an effort to reduce congestion and illegal parking in town and along North Road, Chilmark selectmen last week voted to provide a shuttle service that will run every 10 minutes from 5 pm until sunset between a parking lot behind the landfill off Tabor House Road to Menemsha harbor.

The Vineyard Transit Authority route 12 bus carries passenger along the same road every day, but service stops at 5 pm. The new shuttle, which began running daily on July 1, will continue service until around 9 pm.

“There are only 78 legal parking spaces in Menemsha,” said Chilmark executive secretary Tim Carroll in a telephone conversation with The Times. “There are 100 public parking spaces behind the landfill. We encourage anyone driving to Menemsha from further than Tabor House Road or who is going to the beach or fishing for the day, or overnight, to park there.”

Mr. Carroll said that new signs have been placed on North Road indicating that parking there is illegal.

“We’ll be enforcing the no parking and tow zones on Menemsha hill increasing the signage to what we used to have, since we’ve been a little lax,” he said. “We’re also hoping businesses will encourage their employees to park in the lot.”