My wife and I have been coming to the Vineyard in the summer for 40 years, and we have owned a summer home on the Island since 1985. We spend much of our time here on bicycle, whether doing errands or traveling to beaches. Back when our children were young, we’d all bike through the state forest to the Agricultural Fair. Whether we are heading to the Stop and Shop, Felix Neck, or South Beach, the bicycle is our preferred mode of transportation.

We particularly love the dedicated bike lanes but feel that more needs to be done. Major roads that lack bike lanes are hazardous for all, especially families. You have probably noticed that more families are biking than ever,in large measure because of the pandemic. Cycling, like tennis, is a safe and healthy way to get exercise and spend time together. But it can be scary on the Vineyard’s roads.

These roadways in particular desperately need dedicated bike lanes: Wing Road and Barnes Road, from Oak Bluffs to the roundabout; State Road from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal as far as is possible — ideally to South Road and then to Moshup Trail; both Middle Road and North Road for the entirety of their lengths.

I know, we have debated all of this before, and lots of obstacles prevent the realization of this dream. But in this era of climate catastrophe and growing traffic snarls, bicycles offer an alternative mode of transportation. As polite as many Vineyard drivers are to me when I bike (thank you!), the roads remain dangerous. We don’t want a repeat of the horrific fatality a few years back when a mother on bike was killed on State Road in front of her family as they headed up-Island from the Vineyard Haven terminal. We can do better.

Bob Jampol