No duct tape allowed on a state road

There are unofficial markings on Beach Road by the Shell station, showing where a fog line would go in a symmetrical design. – Gabrielle Mannino

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has removed white “duct tape fog lines” on Beach Road installed by Vineyard Haven resident Frank Brunelle, saying it was unlawful for him to create the road markings.

Brunelle, a staunch opponent of MassDOT’s plan to install a shared-use path (SUP) along State Road, installed the duct tape, and wrote several Facebook posts and emails to town leaders taking credit for the duct tape. “Drivers would flash the peace sign when they saw me laying down the tape,” he wrote in one of them.

In an online post, he wrote, “Even the giant diesel VTA buses are adhering, and there is ample distance from the center line.”

But it’s not legal for an individual to take such matters into his own hands, according to a spokesman for MassDOT.

In an email to The Times Judith Reardon wrote: “Please note that MassDOT Highway Division District 5 has removed the white duct tape, and will continue to monitor this location. MassDOT will also be sending a letter to Mr. Brunelle advising him that it is illegal to perform any work in the State Highway Layout.”

Brunelle could not immediately be reached for comment.


  1. Thanks to Mr. Brunelle’s “volunteerism”, there could be a new candidate for Spirit of the Vineyard Award. Further, this gives new meaning to Glen Campbell’s old song, “
    I am a lineman for Dukes county
    And I drive the State road
    Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
    I hear you singin’ in the wire,
    I can hear you through the whine
    And the Dukes County lineman is still on the line….”

  2. The state and local agencies must be upset that this gentleman, Frank, is making them all look ridiculous. From everything I’ve read and seen he is right on the money. All citizens should be this involved!

    • It’s a great idea to get a practical sense of where travel lanes will be with a shared bike bath but . . .

      Fog lines are meant to guide drivers along the right shoulder in a fog rather than down the center line where drivers coming the opposite direction might be. If another driver misinterprets tape on the road and hits you, whose fault is it?

  3. While I think the fog lines are a great idea — it really helps to be able to guide yourself by looking to the right, rather than into the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Next time, he should use white spray paint.
    But , the state is correct. They have control of the road, and as such Frank committed a no-no.
    Now, if they would only take down the useless illegal stop signs at the intersection of Main st and Colonial lane ( just before Owen Park )

  4. Road markings are instructions, to mark lanes for travel, to stop, to merge, for crosswalks. If a motorist has a collision because they thought tape on the road indicated a driving rule, who are they going to sue?

  5. And to all the kids using chalk on town sidewalks, you’re under arrest, you little law breakers. And hopscotch hoppers, you get 5-10, for, you know, hopping. I am sure there is a law somewhere that says you can’t hop. It’s right there in the same book that says you can’t put a foot of tape on pavement.

    • Jackie– don’t forget– skateboarding is also a crime.. and if you are a black kid, don’t try selling lemonade or running a lawn mower business.

  6. “Drivers would flash the peace sign when they saw me laying down the tape,” – are you sure it wasn’t just half a peace sign?

  7. So what is the criteria for running a lemonade stand or lawnmower business….didnt realize that color was a factor.

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