Citing safety issues and economic concerns, property owners along Beach Road have dug in their heels to oppose a state improvement plan for the busy roadway, and are asking the Tisbury selectmen to join them.

“I am requesting that selectmen take a vote to reject [the] plan,” said Debbie Packer, manager of the Shell gas station, who appeared before the selectmen at their meeting Tuesday along with others. “This 100 per cent plan is hurting people. [It is] affecting our health and our ability to run our businesses and live our lives peacefully.”

Selectmen were sympathetic, but stopped short of taking immediate action.

“We’ll listen to you. We have listened. We have heard you,” said board chairman Tristan Israel.

The $5.2 million plan by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to realign the roadway and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists has been in the works since 2013 and is now at the 100 per cent phase. Mass DOT aims to break ground in the fall of 2019. The plan will require a number of abutters to sell some of their land, and property takings have become a major sticking point.

“We are not going to stop coming in,” Ms. Packer told the selectmen Tuesday. “And we wouldn’t be continually coming in if we felt like we were being listened to,” she added.

Frank and Vasha Brunelle live on Beach Road. — Holly Pretsky

“This is the worst possible plan we could have for Beach Road and for Tisbury,” said Frank Brunelle, who lives on Beach Road.

Ralph Packer who owns R.M. Packer Co. used a maritime analogy: “When you’re on a ship, and you’re in doubt, you stop,” he said. “And I think we’ve got to stop and weigh these various items that are kind of disturbing.”

The plan could bring the road about three feet closer to the gas pumps at the Shell station, prompting Ms. Packer to raise safety concerns.

Mr. Brunelle said the use of eminent domain to take land for the project would be unwarranted and inappropriate. He presented a petition signed by several abutters that said use of eminent domain would cause severe harm to the economy of the business district. Owners of Vineyard Haven Marina, West Marine and the Net Result were among the signatories.

“Virtually everyone is impacted. Virtually everyone is harmed. The eminent domain is not acceptable,” Mr. Brunelle said.

Another sticking point is the proposed flow of cyclists and pedestrians along the road. The plan proposes symmetrical sidewalks on one part of the road and a single eight to 10-foot cycling and walking path along another part. Mr. Brunelle said he was concerned about the transition area between those two sections where cyclists and pedestrians would have to cross the road.

He read the part of his petition concerning the shared use path (SUP). “We state unequivocally . . . that the SUP as designed is unsafe and puts cyclists and pedestrians in the path of motor vehicles,” the petition reads in part. Mr. Brunelle gave a more colorful critique of the proposal to have all cyclists and pedestrians share the same path: “That is the most insane, ridiculous idea I think that any bike path proposal has ever had in the history of the world,” he said.

Debbie Packer manages her family's Shell station on Beach Road. — Holly Pretsky

He also said symmetrical sidewalks for the whole length of the road made more sense.

In addition to concerns about property takings and the shared use path, area stakeholders have criticized a series of new utility poles that will go up along the road, saying the poles will be taller than existing ones and could mar the view from the new multimillion dollar Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

“We can make a golden path for bicyclists, but the first thing we should do is make a red carpet for the Martha’s Vineyard museum,” Mr. Packer said.

At a presentation of the plan on the Vineyard last month, spokesmen for MassDOT said attempting to make drastic changes at this point in the process could jeopardize the whole project.

On Tuesday, Geoffrey Cassel of Winds Up told selectmen to ignore those stakes.

“[The spokesman] said in his presentation that a good plan is a plan that nobody’s happy with, and everybody seemed to swallow that like a fish with a hook,” Mr. Cassel said. “A good plan is a plan that inspires people. This plan is not going to inspire people.”

At the request of stakeholders, Mr. Israel and selectman James Rogers agreed to discuss sending a letter to the state at their next regular meeting. Mr. Israel noted that he had supported a different version of the plan from the beginning.

Selectman Melinda Loberg left the meeting before the discussion got underway, drawing criticism from some of the stakeholders, but Mr. Israel spoke up in her defense.

“She had to go for legitimate reasons,” he said.

Reached later by telephone, Mrs. Loberg said she had to leave for a previously planned family event, but added that she has met with property owners individually to discuss their concerns. She said she would not support sending a letter to the state.

“I’m not prepared to tell the state that we don’t like their design,” Mrs. Loberg said. “We are very aware of the issues affecting the Packers and we’re working very hard with the state to resolve them.”