A pretty park?
Regarding a recent letter to the editor suggesting MDOT's downtown project will result in no more than “a pretty park in the middle of town.”
The letter writer is not looking at the whole picture as to how we got to where we are now. Traffic has steadily increased in the last 40 years and the majority of residents of Wiscasset and the Midcoast region agree something has to be done. The MDOT presented project concepts to voters of Wiscasset and an overwhelming majority (2 out of 3) voted for Option #2 and for the town to work with MDOT on this project.
The anti-project, anti-MDOT, anti-change/progress folks, are now stating that Option #2 is a ploy to get a “pretty park in the middle of town.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is about traffic and pedestrian control, the safety of visitors and residents on our sidewalks and streets, and to improve the flow of traffic and lessen the backed up traffic trying to get through town. MDOT never said that it would end stalled traffic but stated it would lessen it. It is a well-known fact that MDOT has the legal authority to make the changes to Route 1 as outlined in Option #2. Even the town's attorneys have stated this. The MDOT has the legal right to “plow” through town and wave bye-bye from Edgecomb. Instead of doing that, MDOT has agreed to make our sidewalks ADA compliant (verses $400,000.00+ at town taxpayers expense), new lamp posts, waterfront parking lot that will enable tour bus parking, construction of Hagget's parking (less than a one minute walk to Main Street), trees, planters, benches, info kiosks, new directional signage, etc. All of this at no expense to the town, which is having to cut budgets and raise taxes just to maintain the status quo.
So voters of Wiscasset this is more than a “pretty park” that the anti folks wants you to believe. This is about the future of our town and for all the residents who love Wiscasset and want it to thrive.
Vote “no” on April 17 to stop the wasteful lawsuit!