I would like to take a look at the Route 1 controversy in Wiscasset one more time from a different angle.

Currently, we have a two-lane highway running through the town, one north and one south. When, and if, the project is completed, we will still have a two-lane, north-south highway running through the town.

What would be different, as worked out with the state over 20 meetings with various civic, business, and residents, is a plan to make the downtown safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.

Let’s forget the road for a minute and see what the project will do for the town.

An honest view of this area of Wiscasset would include failing infrastructure. Would-be shoppers have to circle the block, adding to congestion while searching for a place to park. If they do find a spot, they have to negotiate sidewalks that end in an unsafe staircase. They then have to negotiate an 18-inch -ide sidewalk or go into traffic around parked cars.

The DOT plan would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve parking and beautify this area that the town would not have to fund themselves. For a town that is trying to drastically cut their budget, and for taxpayers, these improvements would be a windfall.

An argument has been made that removing the diagonal parking on Main Street would hurt business; I can find other experts who argue that off-street parking nearby will not hurt the businesses but will allow shoppers to walk more throughout the area. The increased foot traffic increases overall business.

To paraphrase Victor Hugo, “Some people live in the dark and some people live in the light.” I always try to live in the light, looking not at what we are, but what we could be.

Bill Maloney


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