To the Editor:
I was surprised to see the markings the surveyors left to define the new Beach Road. If this configuration can be utilized for a symmetrical road, then pedestrians will have the pleasure, and the joy and utility, of being able to walk on both sides of the road, enjoying Vineyard Haven Harbor and all of the beauty of Tisbury.
Allowing sidewalks on both sides of Beach Road would be a marvelous addition. From our perspective, living here for the past 20 years on Beach Road, we have seen it change in terms of pedestrian traffic. People walk to and from Oak Bluffs and beyond much more frequently than it used to be. It is a surprising amount of foot traffic.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) uses a model of sidewalks on both sides and five-foot-wide bicycle paths on both sides, allowing free and safe bicycling and pedestrian traffic, in their new model. There is no reason why it cannot be accomplished here. We hope and pray that MassDOT will at last listen to the wishes of the select board and of the Islanders.
Attempting to squeeze in cyclists and pedestrians in one path traveling in both directions, especially with the addition of electric bicycles, going past curb cuts, and terminating in the middle of nowhere, is simply not sensible, and would forever foreclose the possibility of an elegant solution.