Speedy changes proposed to Upper Main Street in Edgartown


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.


  1. There are a number of intersections and stretches of road in Edgartown and all around the Island that are caution areas, agree with Sara her area is a potential issue, but argument could be made that these other areas need attention as well, even though Sara does not live there. I appreciate the professional opinions of our Selectmen and town manager where to allocate resources and set speed limits.

  2. Katama 11 – agreed, there are many many issues around town that need attention, including all the blind corners created by peoples’ incessant and pathological need to surround themselves with walls of fences and bushes, narrow streets with speed limits that are too high, and many bad intersections. Oh, and let’s not even mention the thirty buses an hour that go through this neighborhood – all (except the one electric bus) of which are too fast, too loud, and too big. My area is not a “potential issue” but a real and serious danger zone. My focus is on the two blocks between WT Rd and Pease’s Point Way because 1. (obviously) I live it and breathe it and sleep it 24/7; 2. It is the literal entry point to downtown Edgartown from every other island town and is teeming with bicycles, pedestrians, and speeding vehicles all day long during the summer (and speeding vehicles all year long), and probably the most dangerous stretch of road in the summer on the island. Come sit on my porch for an hour and you will understand. I care very much about all of Edgartown and have also spoken out about the blind corners (especially on the walking routes to school), but, due mostly to lack of man power, nothing has been done. I suggest, if you are concerned about particular issues, you also should document the issues and bring them forth. If you wish to see my documentation and photos, many hours worth, I will gladly share.

Comments are closed.