To the Editor:
The $100 million dollar pretext.
Has the Martha’s Vineyard Commission reached the $100 million mark in obtaining funds from the Complete Streets program yet? Some few years ago I read a report from the Joint Transportation Committee that they had plans for $85 million worth of bike path projects.
The contention that the MVC holds out is that the section on Beach Road is a necessary part of this project. But is it?
I worked on the bicycle committee investigating the hookup from Beach Road to the rest of the bicycle path project on the entire Island. The 2008-2009 prefeasibility study looked at this hookup very carefully. In fact, there were two dozen possible alternative routes to make this complete. What we found was that none of them worked. There was no possible connection between Lagoon Pond Road and the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven road due to topography.
What is the importance of this?
The importance of this is that the idea that a bicycle path on Beach Road, which is, by the way, supposed to be a “protected” bicycle path, is not necessary, and the idea that the Martha’s Vineyard Commission is using this as a lever for funding is wrong. The fact is, and Bill Veno, chief planner, will confirm this, is that the bike path terminates. It does NOT connect. The issue then is where should it terminate.
We, the residents, the cyclists, the rational part of the discussion contend that it terminates naturally at the end of the present bike path at Wind’s Up. From there the road should be symmetrical. This is for safety reasons. It is for protection of Island businesses and values and the local economy, all of which are the prime objectives, supposedly, of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.
A symmetrical road is safer by far. It does not damage the local economy. It preserves Island values. Adam Turner, the MVC director, should, but will never, recognize this. However, our selectmen can vote to make this a symmetrical road and preserve our community, our trees, our economy. We ask that this be so. We have the power to make this right.