The Steamship Authority is moving forward with plans to reconfigure its staging area and parking lot in Vineyard Haven in order to better accommodate vehicle traffic.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the SSA and the Tisbury traffic committee, which was formed in December specifically to address issues with traffic on Water street and Five Corners area. During peak boat loading times, cars often get backed up into the street.

Boat line general manager Wayne Lamson and facilities engineer Bill Cloutier attended Tuesday evening’s Tisbury board of selectmen meeting to present the final concept for the terminal parking and staging area.

Plans for parking lot are designed to address traffic flow during busy boat loading times. — Courtesy Steamship Authority

A second ticketing lane and booth will be installed to be used during the busy season. Employee parking will be moved three feet back from its current location to the right of where cars enter the lot.

The rain shelter and three 10-minute parking spaces alongside Water street will be removed, so the entire pick-up and drop-off area will be located in the parking lot itself.

“That would give us just a little more capacity for people to be able to get off the road and into that pick-up/drop-off area,” Mr. Lamson said. There will be two drive-through lanes with parking on either side. “So if someone is waiting in the lane and waiting [for pick-up], they’re not going to hold up traffic.”

Mr. Lamson said invitations for bid proposals will be finished up this week, and that he hopes to begin construction around the beginning of April. The project is expected to cost $160,000 and will be paid for by the Steamship Authority.

Rain shelter on Water street will be torn down. — Ivy Ashe

`”We hope to have it all completed by the Memorial Day weekend,” Mr. Lamson said.

Selectman Tristan Israel, a member of the traffic committee, thanked Mr. Lamson for his work.

“We didn’t want to change the world, just a few small things we wanted to do to ameliorate the situation down there,” he said. “It really does look like it’s going to improve the flow and...lessen the impact for traffic entering. I always criticize you guys all the time, but I want to give you kudos for working with us.”

In other business this week, selectmen addressed a dormant parking lot project near the Tisbury School. The parking lot was slated for construction after the former Department of Public Works building was torn down; in April 2009 town meeting voters approved $30,000 to built a parking lot for use by Tisbury school employees. School employees currently park at the American Legion building.

Fire chief John Schilling asked about the status of the lot, noting that records show $16,204 is left of the appropriated funding.

“It appears that all we have done to date is put down hardener,” Mr. Schilling said. “There’s still some debris left there from the old DPW.”

Selectmen said they did not know why the project had languished.

“We have plans, we have lighting, we have screening,” Mr. Israel said. “We did hold hearings with the’s actually inexcusable of the town to not have this lot finished.”

He said the board would speak with DPW director Glenn Mauk to check on the status, and that if the department could not finish it the town would see if it could step in.

Selectmen also agreed to hold a public hearing for harbor management regulations and mooring rates at their next meeting. Two years ago, the board held a hearing and voted to increase all mooring rates by 10 percent, with the understanding that another 10 percent increase would take place in 2015.

Mr. Israel also reported that Vineyard Haven was in the running to be a featured town on an 80th anniversary Monopoly board, and encouraged residents to cast their votes often at

A moment of silence was held at the meeting in honor for the Meverell Good, an active member of the Vineyard Haven community who died Feb. 9 at age 91.