I’ve been a regular visitor to the Vineyard since 1970. One of my fondest memories is riding the extensive bike paths, relishing their tranquil beauty and creative layout through heath, scrub oak forest and Atlantic sand plains.

Today, these bike paths have become much less tranquil: they’re loaded with strollers, joggers, birdwatchers, dog-walkers, baby carriages, ambling crowds, and, as ever, groups of bikers stopped in the middle of the bike path, reviewing a map or repairing a bike. All of this makes for hazardous biking on what were once called “bike paths.”

Fifty years after 1970, I ask, are they still considered bike paths? Or are they now multi-purpose, anything-goes, recreational sidewalks?

For the record, along the bike path from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs,there are still signs that read, “No Mopeds on Bike Path,” implying that at some point these bike paths were officially considered bike paths.

What do the tax dollars of Vineyarders support? Bike paths or — what? Any official guidance on what these lovely, once-treasured bike paths have become would be greatly appreciated.

Pell Osborn