Oak Bluffs selectmen slammed the Cape and Islands state legislative delegation Tuesday over a long-stalled home rule petition to ban rental mopeds in town, venting frustration and pinning the bill’s failure on a lack of effort from representatives on Beacon Hill.

The recent death of a 20-year-old woman from West Brookfield on South Road in Chilmark near the site of a similar, fatal moped accident in 2014, has renewed vigorous Island interest in the home-rule petition. The petition passed at Oak Bluffs town meeting in 2018 but later died in committee at the state house.

A transportation committee hearing was held on the home-rule petition in 2019, during which the only testimony came from owners of Island moped rental companies, who provided impassioned statements opposing the bill. No one spoke in favor of the bill, and the town of Oak Bluffs provided only written testimony in support.

Speaking to the Gazette by phone Tuesday State Sen. Julian Cyr confirmed that the bill had died in committee, and was not renewed through a formal request by the town during the recent legislative session. A spokesman for Rep. Dylan Fernandes declined further comment, but said Mr. Fernandes remains available to answer questions about the issue.

But at their meeting Tuesday, the select board, prompted by the recent fatal accident in Chilmark, pointed fingers at the legislative delegation and said they were already working on a plan to renew the home rule petition, hoping to put it on the warrant for an upcoming November special town meeting.

Tim Rich, the former Chilmark police chief and chairman of an Island moped action committee, attended the meeting and spoke. Mr. Rich has been a fierce advocate in the fight to ban rental mopeds since his son was involved as a vehicle driver in the fatal 2014 accident on South Road.

On Tuesday Mr. Rich had harsh words for Senator Cyr and Rep. Dylan Fernandes, saying he had been fighting for the bill for decades and hadn’t seen results because of a lack of political will at the state house.

“They did not put any heart or soul into passing this,” Mr. Rich said. “This is such a . . . menace to public safety, that’s been vetted and revisited, so many times, yet we’re back discussing it again, since the 1980s.”

Agreeing strongly with Mr. Rich, select board members lambasted Mr. Cyr and Mr. Fernandes over the home rule petition’s failure.

“This falls on our legislature,” selectman Brian Packish said. “I find their actions and the energy they’ve dedicated to this to be dismal and disappointing.”

Board members Jason Balboni and Ryan Ruley joined choir, with Mr. Ruley suggesting that the town write a letter, inviting Mr. Cyr and Mr. Fernandes to the November town meeting for the purpose of public accountability.

“They can’t get off this easy,” Mr. Ruley said. “They didn’t even start the conversation on the state level, it never even was advanced or even talked about.”

Select board member Gail Barmakian echoed concerns about the bill’s failure on Beacon Hill, but noted that the legislative issue was slightly more complicated, suggesting that it would take more than the support of Mr. Cyr and Mr. Fernandes to get the home rule petition passed.

“This is a tough thing to pass at the state level,” she said. “And to think that two people are going to shove this through, I think is unrealistic. So I think additional work needs to be done, possibly at the state level, and maybe get other towns on the Island onboard.”

In a brief interview Wednesday, Mr. Cyr said he was prepared to partner with the town and support moped legislation at the state level, but that it would take significant legwork to pass the bill. He said formal support from the five other Island towns would help.

“We’re glad to work on this, as we work on any home-rule petition, but the town has to meet us halfway and they need to do some legwork, and it hasn’t been done,” Mr. Cyr said. “I’m afraid that certain members of the select board are naive as to the legislative process, and would benefit from having a productive relationship with the legislative delegation.”

There are four moped rental companies on the Island; three operate in downtown Oak Bluffs and a fourth operates on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. As of 2019, the companies held 178 moped rental licenses, according to numbers provided by the town of Oak Bluffs.

Because the legislation concerns Chapter 90 of state general laws, the moped rental ban had difficulty finding traction at the state house, with some legislators concerned that the home rule petition would set a precedent for local governments to regulate transportation — a sector that normally falls under the state’s purview. Mr. Cyr said it is far more complicated to pass home rule petitions that involve state law precedents.

“We stand ready to file the home rule petition once the town sends it to us,” Mr. Cyr said. “But . . . this is not an uncomplicated issue, particularly given the constraints around Chapter 90.”

While Mr. Packish acknowledged that passage of moped legislation would be an uphill battle during Tuesday’s meeting, he said it was one worth the fight.

“I agree, it’s a nearly insurmountable task,” Mr. Packish said. “But at the end of the day, I’m not quite willing to let them off the hook, because if that was their greatest attempt, then maybe they should move on to different seats, somewhere else.”