Signs, signs, everywhere signs

DPW director wants to improve the look in Vineyard Haven.

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This slide shown to selectmen in Tisbury shows a possible design for a new parking signs in Vineyard Haven. - George Brennan

There are too many signs on Main Street in Vineyard Haven and they’re too big — something Ray Tattersall, the town’s DPW director, wants to correct.

There are 18 signs on the street in the business district, one for every three parking spaces along the stretch of restaurants and shops.

While five of them that mark handicap spots aren’t likely to change, Tattersall told the board of selectmen at a meeting Tuesday, May 22, that the other signs are too big and clutter the view on the street.

“There are just too many signs, especially on Main Street, and I think it takes away from the natural look of what the town should look like — we’ve inundated it,” Tattersall said. “I’ve actually talked to a lot of business people who don’t understand where the big green signs came from.”

During his slide show presentation, he recommended going with a smaller sign and setting up two zones on the street where parking would be limited to 30 minutes. He also would like to have other spots designated for two-hour parking, he said.

The idea for the size and wording on the signs he proposed to the board comes from an off-Island visit. “I stole (the idea) from Falmouth, actually,” he said.

Signs are spread out along Falmouth’s downtown alerting drivers to the parking limits.

Tattersall also wants to the limit the number of signs, the size, and locations in two town-owned parking lots  — one on Water Street (commonly and incorrectly called the Stop & Shop lot because of its proximity to the supermarket) and the other the Union Street lot. Including the name of the lot on the sign would also help people understand where they are parking, Tattersall said.

Selectmen weren’t opposed to the idea, but didn’t immediately approve, either.

Tristan Israel, chairman of the board, suggested Tattersall to formalize the plan and present it to the Tisbury Business Association and the planning board for their input.

“People react to everything we do, so I think it’s important to be put to paper,” he said.