Petition looks for a ‘study’ of Beach Road plans

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Business owners have signed a petition calling for further study of Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. - George Brennan

Updated Feb. 15 @ 10 am

More than a dozen business owners on Beach Road have signed a petition asking Tisbury selectmen to further study the Beach Road plans before allowing the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) to move forward with a shared-use path.

Frank Brunelle, who has been leading the effort against a shared-use path along the busy street, shared the petition with The Times Monday, the same day he filed it with the town.

“We, the undersigned petitioners, ask that the Tisbury selectmen vote to have a study conducted which will compare the SUP to the symmetrical design in order to determine impacts to businesses, which choice would be safer overall,” the petition states.

Creating an intersection will “impact the flow of traffic aggravating an already over-burdened roadway,” the petition states.

Recently, Dorothy Packer, a large landowner on Beach Road, had a surveyor place markers outside Tisbury Shell to show just how much property would be taken for the shared-use path. Packer has appeared at several recent selectmen’s meetings to object to the DOT plans to take property by eminent domain. She has also criticized a plan to take a portion of her family’s land to build a boardwalk.

Polly Bassett of Martha’s Vineyard Mortgage is one of the business owners who signed the petition.

“I’m going solely off the information [Brunelle] is providing me,” she said of why she agreed to sign the petition. “Other issues on this road, like drainage, need to be addressed before they move forward.”

In an email, town administrator Jay Grande wrote that he was unaware of the petition. The DOT 100 percent design plan for Beach Road, first expected in February, is now expected next month, he wrote.

Brunelle has also been pushing the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to designate the roadway project as a development of regional impact.

Updated to correct the spelling of Polly Bassett’s name.