Main Street in Tisbury is located only a short walk from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal on Martha’s Vineyard. While the Town experiences many visitors, many do not stop at Tisbury’s Main Street despite its convenient location and many quaint shops and restaurants.
In an effort to promote visitors and walkability along Main Street, Environmental Partners (EP) recognized immense potential to improve and enhance Main Street ensuring comfortable, safe, and attractive accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging pedestrians from the nearby ferry terminal with the use of streetscape enhancements and wayfinding signage. The Town of Tisbury hired EP in 2017 to design improvements intended to increase the comfort and safety of pedestrians along Main Street, address crossings and the lack of shade and gathering spaces, and improve the location while remaining true to its character.
Featuring aesthetic enhancements including landscaping and streetscape amenities, EP also designed curb extensions throughout Main Street to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians and improve sight lines around on-street diagonal parking spaces. The excessive roadway pavement reclaimed by the proposed bumpouts will be put to better use as pedestrian gathering spaces. A series of street trees, benches, planters, and trash receptacles are being included and will reflect the existing aesthetic and feature materials appropriate for Tisbury, with low maintenance landscaping included within the curb extension areas where possible. The bumpouts in combination with the street trees, landscape, and streetscape amenities will further attract pedestrian foot traffic to this fantastic location, boosting the local economy and sense of community, in addition to calming traffic along Main Street.
The addition of a sidewalk along the eastern side of Main Street from Union Street to Owen Park to addresses a gap in pedestrian connection. Given the challenging narrow widths within this area, innovative sidewalk treatments are being used to provide the pedestrian connection while ensuring access even during emergencies.
In the end, the project will substantially improve the vitality of Main Street by providing cohesive improvements that encourage pedestrian visitors in the heart of the community – shaded areas, gathering spaces, amenities, landscaping, and shorter pedestrian crossings with safe sight lines and valuable on-street parking will be retained to support the needs of local business owners.