During a special meeting Monday, town selectmen listened to the traffic concerns of resident Sara Piazza, who lives near the corner of Upper Main Street and Green Avenue. Piazza said the stretch of Upper Main Street from the Dukes County jail to Peases Point Way is “dangerous and chaotic.”
Piazza was concerned with the lack of signage for speed limits and bike users, and with the multi-use path, which she said frequently directs bicyclists onto the sidewalk or into the gutter going against traffic.
“This is not a light thing. This is dire,” Piazza said, referring to the potential for traffic accidents in the 30 mph zone.
Piazza offered several solutions to slow down cars by using speed -racking signs, a police presence, or a legal change to the speed limit.
Police Chief Bruce McNamee said special legislation would be needed to alter the speed limit. He told selectmen there are two state laws that allow the town to change the speed limit to either 25 mph or to 20 mph by designating it a special safety zone.
McNamee agreed with Piazza that the 30 mph speed limit is too fast.
The selectmen were in agreement that the stretch of road is an issue. No vote was taken, but town administrator James Hagerty plans to contact the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to discuss the matter further.
In other business, the Edgartown Yacht Club is replacing its wharf.
Club manager Bill Roman said the large project is set to start on Sept. 10, and will require two barges in the water for a crane and materials. Several parking spots will be needed for cars in the project as well.
The project coincides with the 2018 Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, but Derby president Ed Jerome and Derby vice chairman Joe El-Deiry said they are not concerned the project will be a problem. Erin Ready, executive director of the Edgartown board of trade, similarly supported the project.
Edgartown animal control officer Barbara Prada told selectmen issues with unleashed dogs have been getting worse on Fuller Street Beach.
Dogs are allowed on the beach, but must be leashed. Prada said signs notifying dog owners to keep dogs on a leash and to pick up their waste are ignored, or regularly taken down.
“I don’t want to ban dogs from the beach, but I do want owners to respect others that use that public beach, too, and keep their dogs on a leash,” Prada said.
BiodiversityWorks shorebird coordinator Kayla Smith told selectmen unleashed dogs disturb shorebird nests on the beach.
Prada will work with Hagerty to designate hours to her assistant Catherine “Betsy” Buck to go to Fuller Street Beach and enforce the dog leash law. Prada said Betsy has shown some “forward progress” by enforcing the leash law.