The Massachusetts Highway department has submitted two conceptual plans for the redesign of the intersection of State and Old County Roads to the town of West Tisbury, a problem intersection that has been the site of numerous accidents. The state plan calls for widening both roads, removing the triangular island and changing the angle of the intersection to more closely resemble a T shape.

The conceptual plans are posted on the town’s Web site ( for public inspection. MassHighway will hold a public hearing in the future; the state is projecting that construction will not begin until 2012 at the earliest.

In addition to being a magnet for accidents, the intersection also creates a bottleneck when cars making a lefthand turn onto Old County back up on State Road. And although there is a stop sign at the end of Old County Road, many motorists often fail to stop completely or speed up to merge into fast-moving traffic headed down-Island.

Plan A calls for both roads to be widened, the angles of the two roads to be changed and the small triangle shaped median between the two roads to be removed. A short connecting road lies within the triangle for traffic taking a left from Old County onto State Road or a right from State Road onto Old County.

Plan B calls for a new turning lane to be created for traffic traveling west on State Road turning onto Old County. It also calls for new markings in the eastbound lane of State Road that would separate traffic taking a left onto Old County.

West Tisbury executive secretary Jennifer Rand said both plans are subject to change, although the final plans will likely call for the Y-shaped intersection to be changed to a T-shape. MassHighway has been collecting accident data for the intersection, and early indications are the number of accidents is not high enough to deem it a dangerous intersection.

“But anyone who lives here and uses that intersection frequently knows there are a lot of near misses. I think most people agree it was a poorly designed intersection,” Ms. Rand said.

Selectman Richard Knabel urged townspeople to examine the plans carefully. He does not support removing the triangle in the middle of the intersection, he said. And adding more blacktop may also encourage people to speed, he said.

“The way it’s set up now, people have to stop [on State Road] for someone taking a left onto Old County, but if you add a passing lane or more pavement, someone is just going to whip right around on the right side. If you add more road, people will go faster,” Mr. Knabel said.