Edgecomb is encouraging motorists seeking a shortcut between Boothbay and Newcastle to use another path. Motorists are increasingly using the Dodge and Middle roads to avoid the U.S. Routes 1 and 27 intersection. Selectmen have fielded several complaints from residents about increased traffic traveling at high speeds on the two roads. On Nov. 5, selectmen discussed using more signage and requesting more sheriff’s department help in managing traffic flow.
One step has already been taken to reduce speeds. Town officials replaced a missing 35 mph speed limit sign on Middle Road a couple days after the meeting. And more signs are on the way. Road Commissioner Scott Griffin is looking for more signs, like “Drive like your kids live here” for better identifying the shortcut as a neighborhood, not a major roadway.
“We can put up the signs to remind motorists this is a neighborhood, but what we really need is enforcement,” Griffin said.
Requesting more sheriff patrols is the second step in making Middle and Dodge roads safer. Selectman Mike Smith reported Sheriff Todd Brackett requested another patrolman in his fiscal year 19 budget.
Smith hopes the county will fund another patrolman, but if it doesn't, he has a possible alternative. Smith wants commissioners to consider using Edgecomb’s share of Lincoln County Recycling to finance a new patrolman. Edgecomb doesn’t use the county-financed refuse district. Edgecomb and three other towns send refuse and recyclables to Boothbay Region Refuse Disposal District in Boothbay.
Smith wants commissioners to use some flexibility in their budgeting. “The sheriff has said response numbers in this section of the county since 2015 have nearly doubled, and they’re looking for another patrolman for this end of the peninsula. So what I’d like to propose — since we don’t use Lincoln County Recycling — the county uses our portion of taxes on another patrolman because we’re contracted to send it to Boothbay.”
Town officials will place more signage and contact county officials in hopes of reducing traffic and speeds along both roads.