WATERVILLE — Police are asking people to stop idling their vehicles along Kennedy Memorial Drive while they wait to go through the car wash at J&S Oil, or else officers will start issuing tickets.

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said Tuesday he’s received a number of complaints over the last few weeks of cars blocking the east travel lane of Kennedy Memorial Drive, and that some people have reported near-crashes.

While Massey said this has been an ongoing problem, it’s especially prevalent in the winter, when there are long stretches of bad weather, leaving people with only a few sunny days to go to the car wash.

In the short term, the management at J&S Oil will direct employees to park cars two abreast in the lot to save space, Massey said. They also might put up signs instructing people to not wait on Kennedy Memorial Drive and instead wait in the J&S Oil parking lot or come back another time.

In the long term, J&S Oil is going to look at reconfiguring its parking lot to see if it can solve the problem permanently, Massey said.

Police will patrol the area to ensure people don’t continue lining up on the road, as Massey said he worries it could cause an accident. Officers will ask those who continue to use Kennedy Memorial Drive to leave. If the problem persists, Massey said, they will begin issuing traffic citations for obstructing a public way.

“I’m very concerned we’re gonna have a serious accident,” he said.

Massey is asking for voluntary compliance from the public so the police don’t have to issue tickets, he said.

“If the current line in the parking lot is full, please return at another time when there is space,” he said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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