Beach Road work exposes flaws

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To the Editor: 

Beach Road is not complete yet, but perhaps someone could answer these questions. 

As I look at the progress on Beach Road, it seems as though the design is impossibly dangerous, and that I have never seen a road constructed in this way before. But maybe I am wrong. I am posing a question to our town administrator and would like an answer. 

As someone who lives on Beach Road, and has driven, walked, run, biked, roller-bladed, and even skied it over the years, it seems to me to be an impossibly dangerous design by design. These are observations that I would like an answer to. 

  • Curbs. The older curbs were low, and a bike could easily drive over them and get out of the way of traffic. Also, they were not sharp-edged, and would not puncture a tire if a driver went into it at a shallow angle. The previous curbs were also mottled in such a way as to not burst tires or cause massive damage to a person who might fall upon them. 
  • Curb placement. The design calls for extreme restrictions on entry and exit for vehicles on the Lagoon side. I did a quick measurement, and on the harbor side openings are 12 to 14 paces wide. On the Lagoon side, curb cuts are one-third of that, and these are so restrictive as to interfere with commerce and safe entry and exits. 
  • Sidewalks are eliminated. The entire stretch of Beach Road from a point beginning at Vineyard Harbor Motel all the way to the drawbridge is lacking a sidewalk by design. 
  • Environmental detriments. The area of environmental concern at the beach where all the stones were laid is off-limits to pouring concrete and tar, and yet a permit was apparently given to do so. There is a fortress of sorts, and not a natural beach as we understood from our environmental officials that could never be violated. It has been, and profoundly. 
  • Overall, it appears as though this design is unique. I do not recall ever seeing a road designed in this manner. It appears to be dangerous and constrictive and environmentally flawed. Is it? 

Could we please have some answers to these questions? I would like to mention, however, that the workers constructing this road bear no responsibility for any design flaws, and in general agree with these criticisms, and yet are required to follow a plan that seems to be completely flawed, including the error of moving poles rather than burying the wires underground. Please respond in writing. 

Frank Brunelle
Vineyard Haven