Union Street traffic-reversal trial will be continued

Michael Cummo

The Union Street traffic-reversal trial will not end on Columbus Day as originally planned. Tisbury selectmen agreed Tuesday to continue the traffic experiment, but solicit public feedback when they meet Tuesday, Oct. 13.

“I think the Union Street change is working pretty well,” selectmen Larry Gomez said. “I’d be unhappy if we stopped it, then started it again next year.”

He said he’s gotten “quite a number of phone calls and emails that people like” the change.

The redirection is designed to improve traffic flow in the downtown area and relieve congestion at the Five Corners intersection. The initial plan was to stop the trial on Oct. 12 and hold a public hearing Oct. 13.

“I would hate to see the whole thing stopped, and then a discussion about it, and then started again,” selectmen Melinda Loberg said. “I think we’re training people now to get used to it, and I would like us to make a determination whether it’s going to continue without having stopped it and then started it.”

Chairman Tristan Israel said despite the positive feedback, he has heard complaints.

“Quite frankly, most of the comments that I’ve heard have been positive, but I’ve also heard some negative comments from people who are not happy with losing parking spaces,” he said.

Town administrator Jay Grande, a member of the Tisbury traffic subcommittee, asked fellow committee members Police Lieutenant Eerik Meisner, interim department of public works (DPW) director Paul Wohler, assistant DPW director Tom Mello, and Fire Chief John Schilling, to reconvene and discuss the trial and how to manage any unintended consequences.