Bikers: Stay on the paths


To the Editor:

I have been riding a bike on the Vineyard for many years, and use the bike paths regularly. This summer, particularly, I am struck by the number of bikers I see on the road — some with little kids in tow — when there is a parallel and safe bike path along the side the road. Could the Steamship Authority provide maps, and strong suggestions to bikers to use the bike paths where possible, to people when they buy bike tickets for the ferry? Generally, drivers are careful and so are bikers, but travel could be safer for all if all bikers were encouraged to use bike paths.


Nancy Hoffman

West Tisbury


  1. There needs to be more signs and encouragement to direct all bikes to the bike paths that parallel the busiest of island roads. I am hoping it doesn’t take another tragedy to wake people up to this. Many more people on bikes is a great thing, but it is truly time for a change in attitudes from the town Government representatives about where they can ride safely, and forcing them to do so. I understand the share the road theory but with 2 lanes of traffic and bikes on both sides something has to be done for the safety of all involved.

  2. I was coming out of Meshacket Road by Morning Glory Farm the other day. I was slowing to a stop and seeing a man and his daughter on bikes waiting to cross at the corner of the MGF fence. A helmetless, spandex clad dude coming from the other direction zipped by in front of me ( ignoring his stop sign) and yelled “ Let the bikes cross for christ’s sake!”
    After the man and his daughter had crossed I pulled out onto the West Tisbury Road. Only to see no helmet boy decide the bikes on the path weren’t going fast enough for him. He rode out onto the road against traffic in order to pass them. I must confess I yelled out to him to get back on the bike path for christ’s sake.

  3. “Share the road” isn’t a suggestion, it is the law! Mass law gives ALL bicycles the legal right to ride on any public road, street, or bikeway in the Commonwealth while following the rules of the road. It is the legal responsibility of ALL car drivers to drive in a manner that accommodates their safe use of the roads. Until Mass law is changed there is no town gov. law that can “force” bike riders to abandon the roads. The “attitude that needs to change” is that of impatient car drivers who are angry if slowed by anything while racing from place to place. So Vineyard car drivers, get over it. Slow down, be patient, respect bikes, follow Mass driving law!
    Mass Law:
    Section 11B. Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section.
    As a bicyclist: (from Chap. 85, Section 11B)
    You can use the full lane anywhere, anytime, and on any street (except limited access
    or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been
    posted), even if there is a bike lane.

    • Amen, and thank you! I hope every car driver understands that every road is a “Bike path” too, and get used to sharing it. The problem with congestion is too few people are biking. Too many cars

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