Construction of a bus turnaround in Menemsha is on hold after Chilmark selectmen agreed Tuesday evening to delay the project while the town’s traffic consultant reviews alternative proposals submitted by opponents to the plan.

The current plan to build a turnaround north of the comfort station was approved by voters at a special town meeting in November, but since then a vocal group of opponents has argued against the project. While town leaders believe the turnaround will help mitigate summer traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety, opponents say better options are available that would be less of an eyesore for the small fishing village.

To appease critics, selectmen agreed at their last meeting to accept alternative proposals by Tuesday this week. Two were submitted by Katie Carroll and Barbara Armstrong. Both involve repositioning parking spaces along Basin Road to allow for better pedestrian and traffic flow.

At a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday, selectman and board chairman James Malkin suggested that if the consultant finds one of the alternative plans satisfactory, then the town could adopt it over the summer and review data in the fall to see if the plan was successful.

“Based on empiric evidence that we’ve measured, we’ll make a decision on how to proceed for the next year,” Mr. Malkin said.

Selectmen said objections from a growing number of residents influenced their decision.

“There’s a lot of people who have written to us and it’s hard to ignore the voices of so many people,” said selectman Bill Rossi.

“No one’s out to pave paradise and put in a parking lot,” added Mr. Malkin.

He also said selectmen will write a letter to the Vineyard Transit Authority asking it to consider using smaller buses in off-peak hours on the Menemsha route.

In other business, spurred by a petition from West Tisbury School students, selectmen voted to add a plastic bottle ban to the annual town meeting warrant.

“It’s not saying that you can’t have it, it’s saying that you can’t distribute it,” said sixtg-grade student Quinlan Slavin. “The only reason we can’t do it all-Island is simply because we don’t have enough people.”

“This is grassroots and you have to start somewhere,” Mr. Malkin replied.

Selectmen also voted to add an article by petition to the warrant for a ban on the release of helium gas balloons in Chilmark.

At the start of the meeting, selectmen welcomed Belinda Booker as the newest Tri Town Ambulance paramedic after a six-month evaluation period.

“She did an amazing job and fits in incredibly well,” said Tri Town chief Ben Retmier.

Selectman Warren Doty also praised Coast Guard station Menemsha for assisting in the search for fishermen missing off Block Island when their boat capsized last week.

“They responded to that incident without being paid,” said Mr. Doty, referring to the federal worker pay freeze amid the ongoing government shutdown. “The Coast Guard is not being paid today and they are all at work, and I think they deserve special commendation for that.”