Shared-use path is flawed


To the Editor:

This letter is a response to the article written by George Brennan in the Jan. 11 issue of The Times.

The article was excellent in that it brought to the fore some of the issues concerning the shared-use path (SUP) initiative on Beach Road. I would like to clarify some of the items that were touched on in the article and, also, to add some information that should have been included.

Bill Veno made some statements that were rather disingenuous. For example, he stated that the Martha’s Vineyard Commission had very little to do with the SUP, but he may recall a public debate between myself and Mark London, former director, on this matter, and a conversation recently with the current director, Adam Turner, who proudly talked about an initiative to have a SUP on Lagoon Pond Road. It remains unclear why the commission makes a point of denying involvement. And the statement that the path is 10 feet wide and is not ideal is only partly true. It is actually only eight feet wide in the critical sections where the curb cuts create a lot of traffic to and fro over the path. This is a critical flaw, and certainly not recommended practice. We went over this in a meeting very recently.

The article failed to mention that the plan may require a DRI, and that in recent conversations with Paul Foley, who is head of DRI policy implementation, [he] mentioned casually that he could not understand how this is not a DRI.

As to Tristan Israel … Yes, the symmetrical offers tremendous advantages over the SUP, and is far safer. Tristan knows this, or would not have so strongly defended his belief in this.

It seems as though if the town or the county commissioners would recommend the SUP project on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven as a DRI, that we could get some answers to some important questions regarding impacts on businesses, impacts on accident probabilities, and impacts on traffic.

Frank Brunelle
Vineyard Haven



  1. I didn’t bother reading this letter because I saw the title and correctly guessed who wrote it. It’s pretty clear that the town of tisbury can’t handle a project greater than placing a porta-potty but in the same sense Mr. Brunelle would do his cause a favor if he skips the hysteria – spamming the town, paper, and message boards won’t get him the support he needs.I’m not saying Civic activism isn’t a great thing, but the way he is going about it makes me want to build a sup just out of spite. That being said beach road can do a lot better than what I’ve heard so far.

    • Shooting the messenger because you don’t like how or how often he brings up the message is a typical islander means of putting down a person’s community activism. People express strongly held convictions in different ways, but leave it to an islander to criticize how one person expresses himself rather than address the important message he’s bringing. I am grateful for Frank’s insistent attention to the matter, since no one else is stepping up.

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