letter to the editor

End the fight against MDOT

Posted:  Monday, March 12, 2018 - 3:30pm

Dear Editor:

The Maine Department of Transportation offered three options to improve summer traffic in Wiscasset. By a wide margin, Wiscasset citizens accepted Plan #2. This plan included limiting interference with traffic by eliminating diagonal parking on the lower end of Main Street and installing two synchronized traffic lights. Eliminating the diagonal parking would result in a safer road and allow traffic to move in an orderly manner. The lights would allow safer crossing of pedestrians while limiting how often they would disrupt through traffic.

In addition, the plan adds many more parking spaces than the downtown area currently has. Railroad Avenue behind Red’s Eats would be widened, paved and have a sidewalk added along with parallel parking. A parking lot would be added near the treatment plant. Haggett’s garage would be demolished and the lot would be paved for parking. This building might be nostalgic for some people, but it is not historical!

The Main Street sidewalks and the steps would be replaced and become handicapped accessible. The sidewalks would be wider allowing foot traffic for the businesses and allow for a gathering place for local events such as the Summer Art Walk. The area is in dire need of such improvements, but the town does not have the funds to accomplish them. MDOT will bear these costs.

A small group of people, however, is mistakenly claiming that the loss of the diagonal parking spaces would put them out of business. On the contrary, the wider sidewalks would bring them additional foot traffic which would, in turn, result in additional sales.

MDOT has the right to make changes to Main Street, even without our permission. Since the project began, MDOT has listened to the public and businesses, and as a result, changes to the original concept plan have been made to facilitate their needs.

We have been told that if we continue the court fight, it is a fools’ game as we cannot win it regardless of the amount of money we throw at it.

I ask you to vote to end the court fight, it is good tax money after bad tax money, and it is our money.

Bill Maloney