In July, fed up with the near-misses, honking horns and fender-benders at Oakland’s intersection, I made several calls to the Maine Department of Transportation.

When my calls were ignored, I enlisted the help of the state senator for our district, and he was able to arrange a meeting with our town manager, two men from the Maine DOT and myself.

At the meeting, I listened as the discussion ranged from unavailable crews to cost to the coming winter. All present, however, agreed that this intersection is indeed a problem.

Eventually, it was agreed that the intersection’s danger could be minimized with a solid white line across the bridge to remind cars to stay in their lane, a sign on each approaching lane that told drivers to stay in lane, and plastic curbing to keep the cars in their lane.

As we stood on the then-green grass and looked across at the intersection at the bottom of Kennedy Memorial Drive, several cars passed, many forced to brake as other cars swerved into their lane.

The men said this would be addressed immediately. That was in September.

Two DOT crews eventually showed up and spent the better part of a day painting the solid white line that has since become invisible. No signs were installed. The DOT men promised to be back in spring to install the plastic curbing, but as a realist, I am not hopeful.

If a concerned citizen, a town manager and a state senator are unable to get a government department to fix a small issue such as a dangerous traffic intersection, how will the government bureaucracy ever hope to safeguard our health care?

Bureaucracy gives birth to itself and then expects maternity benefits.

Dr. W. Sumner Davis


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