We must find a compromise with MDOT
No to the letters to the editor of Oct. 19 embracing MDOT’s Wiscasset downtown project, Option 2. As a member of the Public Advisory Downtown Committee who has read every study and heard every argument for the past year, I can tell you it’s clear: MDOT’s plan has several big flaws that would be destructive to Wiscasset’s economy.
- Removing storefront parking would hurt local businesses. Many have said they will leave for other towns if this happens. We don’t want vacant buildings and we don’t want to lose their tax dollars.
- Installing two more stoplights on Route 1, at Middle and Water streets, will only add to traffic backups.
- Tearing down the 1916 Haggett building would be a great loss. It provides more than $8,100 in annual town taxes. The parking lot MDOT’s planning in its place would contribute nothing in tax revenue.
- Independent, state-registered engineers say MDOT’s proposal won’t significantly improve traffic throughput.
Let MDOT build its proposed Railroad Avenue parking area on its own land and try other practical, less invasive traffic management strategies. Then we can measure effects before we make mistakes we can’t undo.
Yes, we need to relieve seasonal traffic congestion — but not at the expense of Wiscasset’s economy. We must find a compromise solution with MDOT.