After two summers of noise that included earth shaking and pounding as steel girders were driven into the ground, the rumble and groan of power shovels and other large equipment, the daily zap of nail guns, and the interminable whine of stone cutting saws, it appears that the building project next door is nearing completion. Perhaps the long line of trucks illegally parked on our street all summer (often in front of a fire hydrant) will disappear. Perhaps we will be able to sit on our patio and hear the birds. Perhaps we will be able to wash the grime from our windows, open them up and see the sky. And perhaps we will be able to walk or bike down our own street in safety.

This has been our summer of discontent, but it need not have been this way. Large-scale building projects should not be allowed in the village of Edgartown during the summer, not only because of the noise and dirt, but because of the danger. There are No Parking signs on our block of South Summer street between High street and Pease’s Point Way, but they have been ignored all summer creating a hazardous situation for those of us who live or travel on the street. The last block of South Summer is narrow. There are no sidewalks and two-way traffic is allowed. When a row of trucks is parked the length of our block, walking, biking and driving are dangerous. I have been concerned all summer for the safety of my grandchildren who ride bikes to jobs and activities. I narrowly escaped being hit more than once just trying to back my car out of my driveway when trucks were parked on both sides, making it impossible to see around them. When I called the police department to ask about enforcing the no parking ban on the street, I was told that the construction workers have nowhere else to park. That is true, and that is why building should not be allowed during the months of high summer. The presence of large equipment and trucks on a street like this creates a situation which could result in serious injury.

People come to Edgartown because it is a beautiful place. It should also be a safe place. We need to protect the quality of life and the safety of families who own or rent in this lovely old town. In other neighborhoods around the Island, heavy construction is not allowed during July and August. Let’s put a seasonal ban on in-town construction in Edgartown and make our summers safe for all.

Betsy and Sandy Campbell