Taxi commission weighs in on Weldon’s Way traffic

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 5:30pm

Traffic congestion on Weldon’s Way during the peak tourism season has prompted Town Manager Ed Roberge and the Town Council to seek solutions to what has been called a safety and policy issue.

The Town Council has reached out to various boards and commissions seeking their input on the matter that will inform any policy that may eventually be written up. Weldon’s Way, during the summer, is a mix of moped, vehicle, and pedestrian traffic.

On Monday, Nov. 26, the members of the Motor Vehicles For Hire Commission talked briefly on the matter, but found little to recommend to the council by way of action.

“Years ago someone suggested turning that into a one-way street,” said member Vin McAloon. “They tried it for one month in March and there were all kinds of problems.”

Chair Brad Marthens said that whatever congestion problems there may be on Weldon’s Way, “it pales in comparison to what happens on the mainland. Why worry about it? It’s only for a couple of months.”

Member Pat Evans felt that “keeping the mopeds out of the middle of Weldon’s Way would go a long way” to easing the congestion.

Marthens said that training moped renters on a paved surface could, in fact, alleviate more serious accidents outside of town, thereby reducing the strain on the volunteer rescue squad.

“A training session down the middle of the road doesn’t help anybody,” said Evans.

Marthens said there was one thing he did not want to see to solve the problem: A stoplight.

The Town Council is hosting a work session about the traffic flow on Water, Chapel, and Dodge Streets, and Weldon’s Way on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. at the Town Hall. The members of the MVFH also had on their agenda a discussion on a possible jitney service that would shuttle people between the town’s two harbors.

A resident of Delaware had presented the MVFH with a proposal for a jitney service at a meeting in October, which was not well received by the taxi owners and drivers in attendance.

“It will take away from a lot of small businesses, and I didn’t think that was what we were all about,” said Marthens. The members also said there was no ideal space for a bus turnaround in New Harbor.