Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

I use this well-known caution to warn the people studying whether to install a traffic circle on the Waterville side of the downtown bridge. There once was a traffic circle in that location. It was removed because it was dangerous.

At the City Council meeting on March 15, 2015, Councilor Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, reported that the redesigned Cony Circle in Augusta has “a low accident rate, and pedestrians are getting around well.

“They’ve had no problems,” Mayhew said.

Coincidentally, the April 28 newspaper reported on Augusta’s crackdown on rotary drivers. It seems there were 90 accidents in 2015 in the rotaries.

Also, those rotaries are seldom used by pedestrians, who prefer to cross further up one of the connected streets. Waterville’s goal is to make the crossing between downtown and the Hathaway buildings more user-friendly.

For those on the City Council, at Colby, and in the Department of Transportation who may be too young to remember the old circle, please reread the first sentence, and imagine dodging pedestrians trying to cross this circle.

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” another old saying, is applicable here also.

The rest of the world, countries older and wiser perhaps, have discovered the best way to cross a location such as this: They install raised pedestrian bridges.

In climates such as ours, the bridge is covered to eliminate snow maintenance. The bridge could stretch from the sidewalk on the corner of the former Levine’s building to a gently sloping switchback ramp on the edge of the old Marden’s property, thus being very user-friendly for the disabled.

Think about it.

Paul W. Dutram


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