Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Planning Board Minutes 04/16/15

P.O. BOX 602
(508) 696-4270
Fax (508) 696-7341


DATE:           April 16, 2015                  

TIME:           6:00 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Peak, Robinson, Seidman

MINUTES:                As referred in the April 8, 2015 Meeting Agenda
                        25 March 2014,  01 April 2015,  and 08 April 2015       


6:00 PM          Douglas Hoehn, SB&H Inc. Re: Form A Applications

1) Douglas& Maureen Best and Michael & Carol Carroll, AP 14C01+, Winyah Circle

D. Best informed the Board that his property ran across M. Carroll’s front yard as far as his driveway. Issues pertaining to the land’s maintenance prompted an agreement on an equal exchange of property so that M. Carroll’s front yard abutted the edge of the public road.

D. Hoehn notified the Board that the division of land was essentially a property line adjustment.

D. Seidman inquired if the applicant had written verification of the co-applicants consent.
D. Hoehn provided the Board a written authorization granting SB&H Inc. permission to file the application in Land Court by both parties.  D. Seidman entered the document into the record.

There being no further comment, D. Seidman entertained a motion. L. Peak moved to approve the plan as an ANR under the subdivision control law. B. Robinson seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 4/0/0

2) Felicity Fairchild-Tuttle & Nstar (Eversource), AP 29C03, 29C04 (R50)

D. Hoehn submitted a division of land creating three non-buildable parcels (B,C, and D) in which lots B & D were conveyed to F. Tuttle by Eversource in exchange for a 396 sq. ft. parcel (lot C) that ran across their road.

There being no further comment, D. Seidman entertained a motion. L. Peak moved to approve the plan as an ANR under the subdivision control law. C. Doble seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 4/0/0

6:00 PM          Deliberations (Cont.) – Special Permit Application for 14 Pine Street Realty Trust, Paul D. Adler, Tr. - AP 24A24

The deliberations of April 1, 2015 were duly opened at 6:15 PM. D. Seidman, Planning Board Chairman advised the Board that the board secretary had prepared a draft decision for their review and comments.

C. Doble thought there was an error in Finding Nos. 11 and 12 relative to the slopes. Board members referred to the revised Overlay Plan and noted that the slope in the rear section of the road should have been listed at 12%. The slope for the entrance was initially 10%, and subsequently reduced to 4%.  L. Peak noted that the revision also applied to Finding No. 14(b).

Board members noted that Finding No. 20 was incomplete and should have stated, “Finding No. 19 (g)” and G. Mauk’s name was misspelled in Finding No. 22.

D. Hoehn thought the percentage in Finding No. 25 was not all that accurate. He calculated the percentage at 95%. The Board agreed.

L. Peak inquired if the Board had any questions about the historical information. There being none, D. Seidman noted for the record that the Board did not have additional comments for Findings. The board secretary was to delete Finding No. 36.

D. Seidman inquired if the document contained language about the “No Cut” Zone and the prohibition of the removal of trees with a diameter at breast height of 16 inches.  P. Adler noted that the Board had never discussed a prohibition against their removal. He was of the assumption that they wanted to know the number of mature trees they’d have to remove to accommodate the construction of the road and houses.  L. Peak recalled that the hearings included discussions on the preservation of trees, whenever possible. P. Adler concurred.

L. Peak entered a motion to approve the draft decision as amended. C. Doble seconded the motion.

D. Seidman opened the discussions on the motion.  L. Peak brought to the Board’s attention that the board secretary had intentionally highlighted certain text in document for a clarification.  In past applications, the Board allowed the applicant’s surveyor to certify the construction of the road. He recalled raising the discussion during a hearing, and thought the Board did not have an issue in allowing D. Hoehn to certify the construction of the road. Board members agreed.  D. Hoehn recommended having a board member serve that function. B. Robinson agreed to walking the road layout before the construction of the road.

D. Seidman agreed, and referred the Board and application to Condition No. 9. B. Robinson recommended adding language that allowed the Board to inspect the road after it was constructed. C. Doble agreed.  Said condition was to be modified accordingly.

P. Adler inquired about Condition No 4, because in the last subdivision the Planning Board approved, he retained the Fee in the way until he sold the last lot. He asked if that was no longer permitted. L. Peak replied in the negative and informed the applicant that the subdivision rules and regulations regarded the road as a “separate lot”, in which all members of the Homeowner’s Association owned an “equal and undivided interest”.  D. Seidman added that it would also be assigned a separate assessor parcel for tax purposes.  P. Adler was concerned that the restriction would hamper his ability to secure a utility easement.  D. Seidman thought that had to be in place prior to the construction of the road. P. Adler acknowledged.

P. Adler asked the Board to consider amending Condition No. 8 to include an exception for the removal of dead trees, and trees within the layout of the driveways within the 10 ft. buffer zone.  B. Robinson and C. Doble suggested amending the text to read as:

Except for the driveway access and the removal of dead trees, the protective covenants shall clarify that the 10 ft. buffer around each lot and around the perimeter shall be a “No Cut” zone.

L. Peak recalled that in past discussions, there was a question whether the term “No Cut” zone included the underbrush, etc. D. Seidman added that he wanted to prohibit the removal of all trees with a minimum dbh of 16 inches on the lot.  B. Robinson inquired if the applicant defined the term in his protective covenants or road association.

P. Adler did not recall.   D. Seidman asked the applicant for the information. B. Robinson was unclear about the trees with the dbh of 16 inches. He asked D. Seidman if wanted to apply the restriction to the entire lot. D. Seidman replied in the affirmative, and explained that he wanted to clarify in the document that all trees with a dbh of 16 inches were to be preserved unless they were within the footprint of the building or driveway. B. Robinson inquired about the purpose for the restriction, when there were a number of potential variables that would require the removal of a tree. D. Seidman noted that most of the trees were on the reserve area. B. Robinson assumed the applicant would want to preserve the best trees because of their benefit to the homeowners and the neighborhood. L. Peak thought it was also important to consider the benefits in thinning out some of the areas.
It was further noted that most of the trees were in the buffer zones.

C. Doble understood that they asked the applicant to survey the trees for the review process so that they could assess how he was developing the property in terms of the vegetation, (except for the “No Cut” zone) and access to the lots. She agreed with B. Robinson.  

L. Peak and B. Robinson recommended revising the text in Condition No. 8, to read as:

Except for the driveway access and the removal of dead trees, the protective covenants shall clarify that the 10 ft. buffer around each lot and around the perimeter shall be a “No Cut” zone, as referred to in the Homeowners’ Road Association Agreement.

B. Robinson thought the definition for the “No Cut” zone should be within the Homeowners’ Association’s Declaration. Board members agreed, and asked the applicant to submit a copy for their review and approval.

L. Peak recommended adding language to the section entitled “Attachments” such as a reference to the Homeowners’ Association’s Declaration, the revised Overlay Plan, and the Homeowner’s Road Association.

There being no further discussion, D. Seidman entertained a motion to approve the document as amended. L. Peak so moved. C. Doble seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 4/0/0

D. Seidman entertained a motion to close the deliberations. C. Doble so moved. L. Peak seconded the motion. The motion carried.  4/0/0

The Board resumed their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:53 PM.

7:00 PM~~~~~~~~~ Tisbury Board of Selectmen Re: Beach Road Improvements
~~~~~~~~~~~     Attendance: J. Snyder, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Melinda Loberg, Selectmen, Tristan Israel, Selectmen and J. Grande, Town Administrator
(For all other attendees, please refer to the signature sheet)
J. Snyder, Chairman called to order the Board of Selectmen’s joint meeting with the Planning Board at 7:03 PM.~

D. Seidman, Planning Board Chairman noted that both boards had met to discuss the state’s proposal and recommended an alternative proposal that would retain the 40 ft. wide road layout without the need for any taking of land. Members of the public were referred to the illustrated cross sections of Beach Road in which the first cross section depicted 7 ft. sidewalks, 2.5 ft. shoulders, and 10.5 travel lanes. The second cross section, referred to as the ‘Transition Center’ allowed for 7 ft. sidewalks that extended to Tisbury Wharf , provided RM Packer granted the state an easement. The third cross section contained 5 ft. sidewalks, 2.5 ft. shoulders, 10. 5 ft. travel lanes, and a 9 ft. SUP.

D. Seidman indicated that the Planning Board had prepared a draft letter to the Mass. Department of Transportation to reiterate the town’s opposition to any taking of land, and to ask that they essentially comply with the guidelines of the Mass Highway 2006 Project Development and Design Guide, which clearly stated that all “roadway projects had to be designed in a context sensitive manner”.~ He noted for the record that the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen opposed the state’s proposal because it required a taking of land by eminent domain.~

~J. Grande inquired about the dimensions for the third cross section in the Mass. Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT hereinafter) plan and profile of Beach Road (25% Submittal) plotted on 27-March-2015.~ B. Robinson replied that the Mass DOT proposed a 43 ft. right-of-way using 10.5 ft. travel lanes, 4.5 ft. shoulders and 6.5 ft. sidewalks.~ J. Grande inquired if the assumption was that the utility poles were going underground or outside the 9 ft. SUP.~ B. Robinson thought the overlaying of the utility poles (storm water, trees, etc.) would be the next dimension of detail once the specifics of the road layout were flushed out. ~

M. Loberg inquired if the town was in the position of convincing the MassDOT to accommodate a smaller shoulder to stay within the 40 ft. layout. B. Robinson answered that the state~had already reduced their initial proposal for~a 5 ft. shoulder to 4.5 ft.~ He further  noted that most of the shoulders on the island along the state corridor were 3 ft. in width or less.~~Beach Road was laid out with 12 ft. travel lanes, a 3 ft. shoulder and a 5 ft. sidewalk.~ It was important to understand that the state essentially moved the lines in from the 12 ft. travel lanes and 3 ft. shoulders to 10.5 lanes and 4.5 ft. shoulders, so that the existing curve to curve~dimension remained the same.

L. Peak inquired if they asked the state about their reason(s) for recommending a larger shoulder in a location that was most inconvenient to stop under any circumstances. B. Robinson replied that the state wanted to provide a 5 ft. shoulder for cyclists to comply with the Complete Street program. C. Doble asked B. Veno if the state was steadfast on having 5 ft. shoulders, and for information about the Complete Street program’s requirement. D. Seidman replied that the requirement was 3 ft. B. Robinson noted that they were presently 4.5. B. Veno replied that the state’s standard was 4.5 ft. at the time they designed the bridge but currently at 5 ft. The fact that the state had constructed 2.5 ft. shoulders in a recent project on the island gave him the impression that there was room for negotiation. B. Robinson added that the state had altered their original proposal and offered the town three proposals; one of which they were proposing to  shift the centerline 2 ft. to the north to accommodate the 9 ft. SUP in third layout.

J. Snyder inquired if the state intended to build the beach on the north side of the road, just south of RM Packer’s property. B. Robinson believed the state had to provide some infrastructure to maintain the edge, which could be extended if RM Packer provided an easement to accommodate a 7 ft. sidewalk. Otherwise they’d have the 5 ft. sidewalk the state offered to construct .

D. Seidman opened the discussions to the general public. Craig Whitaker expressed an interest in having one of the most unattractive roads become “one of the best”.  He stated that the Federal Highway Administration, ASHTO and other governmental bodies did not require 5 ft. wide sidewalks (min for ADA requirements). They required 5 ft. pedestrian zones where people could pass each other.  If they were incorporating street trees as part of the proposal, they would need an additional 3 ft. to accommodate the pedestrian traffic and the 4X4 or 3X5 tree pits for a total of 8 ft. If they allowed for two 8 ft. sidewalks and 11.5 ft. travel lanes, the layout would support sharrows (shared lane bicycle marking) until they arrived an appropriate point where they could add a bike lane; otherwise they would be left with 5 ft. sidewalks and 3 ft. curb cuts that ran perpendicular to the travel lane. If they allowed space for trees, they would end up with only 2 ft. C. Whitaker owned a bike and enjoyed cycling, but wouldn’t bike down Beach Road because it was dangerous. The proposal for the 8 ft. sidewalks would avoid the need to move the centerline or buy land, plant trees, and give the town time to plan and construct a bike path. He also hoped that that state would consider using the same rough curb and paving pattern observed on Main Street.  B. Robinson noted that the layout allowed for a sharrow.

In past discussions about curb cuts, L. Peak understood that the state preferred the massive curbs, such as the current 60 ft. wide cuts on Beach Road. He wondered if the state would consider narrowing down the curb cuts and defining them. C. Whitaker agreed, and thought the DOT should review each one.

C. Doble reviewed the curb cuts from the Tisbury Marketplace onward in relation to the parking lots, and it appeared to her that the parking areas could be re-organized, so that it would be possible to reduce the width of the curbs.

L. Peak was of the impression that the stretch of Beach Road they were discussing was not suitable to street trees; given that it was one foot about sea level.  C. Whitaker noted that there were trees on Beach Road. L. Peak indicated that they were recently added because it was recommended by the Waterfront Commercial District’s guidelines. It was not a natural habitat for trees, and he did not see any incentive to change the recommendation.

C. Whitaker noted that the town covered the inlets for the storm water sewers, and recommended against it because the grates were difficult if not dangerous to ride on with bicycles.  He thought they could extend the sidewalk and place them on the curb.  L. Peak did not think they had to increase the sidewalk to have them exist. D. Seidman concurred.

C. Fried made a general statement to the effect that the road was not safe, and had been so for many years. He would like to see everyone agree on a design that would be constructed and operating for next season.  

R. Gannon the proprietor of a boat building and repair shop shared a curb cut on Beach Road with the MV Times, and observed a few accidents over the years involving cyclists when vehicles backed out of the egress. He preferred seeing the sidewalks widen by another foot, as opposed to the sharrows. He did not think the latter would make Beach Road any safer for pedestrians and cyclists. He also inquired if project took into consideration J. Weisman’s harbor walk proposal.  He wanted to know if they could dovetail it with the state’s improvements. B. Robinson noted that the Beach Road improvements did not go beyond bridge. R. Gannon added that he wanted to address the different speed limits and believed they should be uniformly reduced. He also spoke against the suggestion for plantings, because he’s never seen them flourish in the area.

P. Phelan believed the primary issues were speed and access. The two of which could be addressed by installing a blinking light that was equipped with a camera to regulate the traffic flow from the Steamship Authority and to monitor traffic speed.  Everything else would work itself out if they controlled the activity on the road.

S. Tonry, a town resident who has lived and worked at Five Corners for the past 29 years,  believed “traffic and speed” were the primary issues based on her observations. She noted that the vast majority of people sped right through Five Corners putting pedestrians and cyclists in peril.~ She mentioned that she had the opportunity to converse with the state’s traffic consultants when they were studying Five Corners this fall about the benefits in installing a street light. S. Tonry indicated that they agreed the traffic light was a viable solution that could be implemented without difficulty. She also thought the town should erect signs directing people to the sharrows and sidewalks.

M. Moore, the manager at the Vineyard Harbor Motel was concerned in general about safety, the placement of the light poles, and the inadequacy of the sidewalks. She was also concerned about the motel’s patrons’ safety when the exited the building because the wider path was going right to their step.

E. Wild, representing Vineyard Haven Marina advised the Board that she and other commercial property owners on Beach Road had met with J. Grande to discuss the grant of a utility easement to~ NStar so that they could remove the poles from the middle of the existing sidewalks. They advised J. Grande that they were willing to have the poles placed on their properties to avoid a taking of land, and would adamantly oppose any such recommendation.

E. Wild has seen many an individual and cyclist run into the poles because they are not accustomed or expecting a utility pole in the middle of a sidewalk.~She believed the existing 4.5 ft. wide sidewalks would be adequate if they only removed the light poles. She thought any proposal for trees was a poor idea, because of the “problems” it would create.

E. Wild noted that the businesses in the commercial area between the Tisbury Marketplace and the bridge experienced heavy vehicular traffic from the garbage trucks, delivery trucks and customers, so that a SUP would place pedestrians and cyclists in harm’s way. It was the reason they fully supported the Board’s proposal to have the bike path detour through the Tisbury Marketplace out to Lagoon Pond Road. She reiterated that the 4.5 ft. wide sidewalks would work if they removed the utility poles and not plant trees. They did not need 6 ft. wide sidewalks.

B. Robinson inquired if she was amendable to granting the utility company an easement to locate a transformer on Vineyard Haven Marina’s property, if the utilities were installed underground. E. Wild replied that the size of the transformers made it impossible. Many did not have the sufficient land area to accommodate a transformer. In some instances, they’d lose valuable parking spaces.~ She also learned that they would all have to upgrade their electrical service if they installed the utilities underground, which would be expensive.

Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and D. Seidman believed the town had to meet with NStar to discuss the in detail what they needed and what it would cost.  E. Wild indicated that she would like to see the utilities installed underground, without having to give up property to accommodate the transformers or invest in upgrading their service.

S. Jones did not think they had to pursue an elaborate solution, when the least or simplest of possibilities could provide the best results, nor did she understand why the town wanted to enhance the existing amenities to move the public in a certain direction within an area that is primarily light industrial and commercial. As a taxpayer she preferred an inexpensive and low key solution that was in keeping with the Vineyard, and that made the road layout adequate and safe. D. Seidman agreed and explained that the town was working towards making the project context sensitive.  B. Robinson informed S. Jones that the state owned the road, so that it was incumbent upon the Town to maintain a dialogue with the state to advance the town’s interests.

A participant at the discussions agreed with S. Jones and elated to hear that the Planning Board was working to protect the town’s interest.  In his opinion that the primary issue was the volume of people the island had to entertain during the summer.

D. Ewart, town employee in the Shellfish Department noted that she drove down Beach Road every day and appreciated its distinct character. She does not ride her bicycle on the road because it was dangerous certain times of the day.
A. Kyburg did not quite understand the proposal, other than that they wanted to narrow the road. D. Seidman clarified that they wanted to reduce the width of the travel lanes. She did not understand why they would want to have cyclists on the road if they were proposing to reduce the width of the travel lanes. B. Robinson clarified for A. Kyburg that they were proposing a SUP off the road that was to be re-routed through Tisbury Marketplace to Lagoon Pond Road and Veteran’s Park.  They were also recommending a sharrow for a separate section of the road layout to give people interested in riding on the road, the ability to do so safely. A. Kyburg cautioned that people and cyclists gravitated towards Five Corners because of the stores and the Steamship Authority, and by nature drawn to take the most direct route to their destination.  

D. Seidman understood, and noted that the narrower travel lanes were going to reduce the speed of the cars, so that cyclists could keep up with traffic. B. Robinson understood that pedestrians and cyclists were going to ride on the sidewalks, SUP and road, but the town at the very least should provide them a safe alternative.

B. Abbott works at Gannon & Benjamin and has walked, biked and driven the road. He inquired about the traffic calming method they were suggesting, because it did not appear to be safe for the pedestrians or cyclists.  B. Robinson explained that the people had a tendency of slowing down on narrow roads when they perceive the space between them to be inadequate. D. Seidman believed motorists were much more focused on their driving.

B. Watson observed that the traffic patterns were cyclical, so that during the summer there were occasions where motorists sat on the road for minutes due to the traffic congestion.

F. Brunelle wanted to make a comment on the trees, telephone poles, and eminent domain. He provided a schematic plan drawing of the road without the telephone poles, and stated that they did not have to entertain any proposal for eminent domain because there was not an “extreme necessity”.  He wanted to reiterate that the property owners on Beach Road were opposed to eminent domain.  
He shared the opinion expressed by others “to keep it simple”, and believed all that was necessary was to remove the utility poles from the middle of the sidewalks.

F. Brunelle noted that a SUP had to be a minimum of 10 ft. or a minimum of 12 ft. – 15 ft. with curb cuts according to ASHTO.  Beach Road had 45 curb cuts. He learned that there had to be a minimum 3 ft. separation on both sides of the SUP and a minimum of 4ft. – 5 ft. separation with curb cuts. He did not see how the 9 ft. SUP and 2 ft. separation was going to work with the number of curb cuts on Beach Road.  He also noted that pedestrians and cyclists had nowhere to go after a certain point on the north side of Beach Road. They had to cross over somehow to get to the SUP. He thought they had to “shift the road to align the vehicles so that they went together”.  F. Brunelle question the town’s ability or reason(s) for placing the 9 ft. SUP with a 2 ft. separation on Beach Road, contrary to ASHTO’s regulations. The only possible solution in that case was to add a guardrail all across the edge, but they did not have enough room to install a guardrail in  sections of the road to protect the pedestrians or cyclists on the SUP that was “vastly unsubstantial” for the area.

F. Brunelle recalled that the MassDOT initially proposed a 10.5 ft. travel lane, 4.5 ft. bike lane and a 6.5 ft. sidewalk.  The sidewalks on the island varied in size but were generally 3 ft. wide. He believed MassDOT’s proposal was almost perfect, with the exception of the sidewalk. He thought they should be 5 ft. The MassDOT’s proposal eliminated the need to take any land, and stayed within the existing 40 ft. wide layout. If the property owners consented to gifting land to the town, they could have a wider sidewalk down the entire road.

F. Brunelle did not understand how they could accommodate an emergency vehicle on a narrower road when the entire road was taken up by vehicles. He believed they needed a 4.5 ft. bike lane that could be used by vehicles during emergencies to let an ambulance or fire engine through. He also favored a change in the speed limits to less than 20 mph and their enforcement.  L. Peak noted that there were speed limits. The issue was that they were not being enforced.  He believed that if they were to effect a change, they needed the cooperation of the local and state police and the state highway department. It was just as important to understand that they would also have to launch an educational campaign to alert everyone that a cyclist had a right to ride on the road, and that vehicles could not pass them unless they had a 30” clearance.
B. Robinson understood F. Brunelle’s proposal kept the curb in its current location and moved the fog line, but they had to know if the latter provided enough safety for a tourist on a bike.
E. Wild was concerned that the proposal did not include additional crosswalks, when the foot traffic had been increasing over the years.~ She waited sixteen minutes earlier in the day just to cross the street. E. Wild thought crosswalks served as traffic calmer.
B. Veno confirmed that he spent at least a couple of hours speaking with F. Brunelle about the standards laid out by ASHTO and MassDOT.~ He did not believe that they agreed if there was flexibility in those standards. He thought the town had to tell the state what their goals were for the road. It was also important to understand that “speed” was the function of design. They had to prepare themselves that the state might advise them that they cannot do the SUP within their standards, which may necessitate “some trade-offs”.
S. Tuttle mentioned that the Vision Planning process brought to the forefront the fact that they had very little access to the waterfront. He liked the idea of working access around Lagoon Pond because it would lead to the museum. He also wanted to bring to the Board’s attention that people had to encroach onto the road to see past the street signs, and would continue to do so, regardless of the width of the sidewalks. It created a hazardous situation. S. Tuttle did not want the Board to discount the importance of improving the aesthetics.
B. Veno did not think curb cuts on a shared use path were an ideal situation. The Town of Edgartown had a SUP on Upper Main Street with approximately the same number of curb cuts, but they did not experience the same “in and out traffic” seen on Beach Road. It was nonetheless dangerous for the cyclists crossing the curb cuts.
H. Lee indicated that he rode his bike to the Town of Oak Bluffs throughout the better part of the year and usually crossed the road at the curb by the gas station because of the better sight distance. He noticed that vehicles tend to speed well before the 35-40 mph limit as he headed towards Oak Bluffs and had on a couple occasions been squeezed against the curb by the larger trucks so that his pedal touched the stone curb. In one such incident he lost his balance.~He complained that the entire issue stemmed from a “poor execution of the road, poor signals, poor parking lot …. and poor signage”.
He suggested rounding up 20-30 people willing to ride their bikes on the road and to evaluate or “dissect” each segment~to understand the real issues and the extent of the improvements. He thought they had to get rid of the hard cobble stones, cleanup the shoulder, consider speed bumps to slow down the car traffic, define the cuts in the road, and add a crossing. It was his impression that they could lay down the speed bumps during the summer months, when traffic increases substantially. E. Wild noted that people sped down the road 12 months out of the year. Many agreed and voiced opposition to the use of speed bumps.
H. Lee thought it was important to have a~nice and manicured area, where elements of the landscape i.e. a continuous fence or tree scape~could be used to guide the movement of the traffic flow.~~~
H. Chapdelaine, Tisbury’s representative to the MV Commission and member of the Tisbury Historic Commission noted that the latter committee dealt with the aesthetics and fabric of the community, and discussed the proposed improvements. The Tisbury Historic Commission wanted to convey that they were in favor of the wider sidewalks and the narrow travel way with the sharrows.  It was their opinion that a narrow travel lane would naturally slow down the vehicles. H. Chapedelaine believed they needed the wider sidewalks to provide access to the harbor, and to accommodate the pedestrians. He thought the vehicles on Beach Road could also take advantage of the wider sidewalk by pulling into one of the 44 curb cuts to allow an emergency vehicle through.

B. Robinson inquired if H. Chapdelaine recommended having a sharrow the whole length of the road.~ H. Chapdelaine replied in the affirmative, because he thought the SUP between Winds Up and the Tisbury Marketplace presented “complications”. B. Robinson noted that sharrows functioned well for commuting bikes and communities that biked. He did not think it would work for the day tripper, the inexperienced cyclist, or anyone that was not familiar with the use of a sharrow.~ H. Chapdelaine acknowledged that both the SUP and sharrow offered opportunity and functionality, but he feared that the 4.5 shoulder was going to be used as a slip lane. B. Robinson advised H. Chapdelaine that the state’s proposal kept the curb cuts and painting the line 1.5 ft tighter. The narrow travel lanes and  wider sidewalks gave motorists leaving local businesses a better angle of vision when they backed out onto Beach Road and protected the pedestrians.~

~D. Hodsdon inquired if the Tisbury Marketplace has granted them permission to provide the town an alternate means of access through their property to get to Lagoon Pond Road. B. Veno replied in the affirmative noting that it was a condition of R. A. Dunn’s decision at the MV Commission. He and C. Fried have also approached several business owners on the south side of Beach Road and all were amenable to work with the town, except for the current owners of the marina, who were amenable to further discussions. He hoped they would consider as part of this proposal an alternative route down Skiff Ave. even if they had to build a boardwalk.

S. Tonry noticed approximately 10 vehicles cut through the gas station to get around the bus, as people boarded. She also noticed that the local police did not enforce the speed limit on Beach Road, except for the early hours of the morning. Given that there was very little enforcement, and confusion about the topic, she asked the Board if they knew who was legally responsible for the enforcement. J. Grande replied that it was enforced by design.

M. Loberg, Tisbury Board of Selectmen noticed that people were constraining the discussions by “imagining what the state would hold them to”. They had to discuss the merits of all potential proposals and achieve a consensus, so that she could fight vigorously for any variance(s). B. Veno recommended not being specific with the state, and approaching them with a request for “an alternative to a roadway for the cyclists”.

P. Phelan noticed that cyclists on the south side of Beach Road heading towards town had to ride on the road to pass a pedestrian on the sidewalk. He also observed mopeds riding on the bike lane (north side). D. Seidman thought a reduced speed limit (20-25 mph) would allow the mopeds to keep up with the traffic on the travel lane.

F. Brunelle learned that shared use paths were approximately 20% more dangerous than a bike lane on the side of the road because of all of the activity (cross-traffic, pedestrian, curb cuts, etc.).

H. Stephenson inquired if the sharrow was going to be constructed of a different material or texture to make it obvious to the cyclist that he/she was no longer on a road. D. Seidman replied that the road surface remained the same, except for the painted stripe and chevron.

J. Grande, Town Administrator supported C. Whitaker’s concept and did not understand why they would not support the 8 ft. wide sidewalks if the recommendation allowed them to stay within the 40 ft. layout. He noticed that the proposal essentially carved out what they wanted and left the remaining space (shoulder, fog line, travel lane) for the state to decide. What he liked about B. Robinson’s proposal was that he created a transition area from Tisbury Marketplace to Winds Up, and provided a long term connection behind the marketplace. He also liked the idea that they could widen the pathway to 9 ft. and make up the difference on the north side.  He thought they should revisit both proposals and come to terms with the improvements for the outside areas.  Conversations with the state made it clear that they were not convinced about their alternative proposal. If they were going to protect their interests they had to achieve a consensus and to solicit support from other levels of government.

J. Snyder never supported SUPs and thought they should avoid the amenity altogether from their proposal.

D. Seidman closed the discussions and thanked the public for coming to the meeting and sharing their thoughts with the Board. He departed at 9:05 PM   

L. Peak noted that one of the most relevant features raised during the discussions was that cyclists did not have to cross the road if they created a connection from the Draw Bridge to the bike path that existed around the hospital. Secondly, there was nothing native about a tree in that section of the town. Thirdly, it was his opinion that nothing about the particular section of roadway had any relevance to their standards, because it functioned like a typical small, urban, two-way street.  The last point he wanted to make was that they had to accept the reality of the situation, in that they were essentially dealing with a nineteenth century town that was not laid out to accommodate the volume of traffic experienced today. There were limitations.

B. Robinson was not fully persuaded that they could keep everyone safe by keeping the cyclists on the road, without taking any land. Based on his observations, these past 20 years, approximately 70-80% of traffic in the area were cyclists heading towards Oak Bluffs.  Given that they are not able to come to some consensus, he thought they may need to consult with the experts, outside of the state to help them figure out the best option for the town.

C. Doble agreed. She believed they had to accommodate the inexperienced cyclists and children with an off-road alternative, based on the comments that were solicited. She also felt that they had to look at the project from a broader perspective in that the accommodations could be designed to lead to the museum and other points of interest.  

M. Loberg thought they could have a proposal with both wide sidewalks and sharrows to accommodate all modes of traffic, and use the sidewalk like a SUP.


1. Vision Planning - April 29, 2015 Public Meeting
A. Establishment of a Community Visioning Council


1. Martha’s Vineyard Commission
A. 16 April 2015 Meeting Agenda
B. 10 April 2015 Extended Meeting Schedule

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:18P.M.            (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Cheryl Doble
                                                Chairman Pro Tem