FARMINGTON — A Main Street crosswalk that raised safety concerns with the Maine Department of Transportation is being closed at the department’s request.

The crosswalk is located at the intersection of Main Street and South Street and is in the area of Scott Hall on the University of Maine at Farmington campus.

Starting Tuesday, the crosswalk will be closed and barriers with signage will be installed marking it as such, according to an email originating from Jeff McKay, director of facilities management at UMF, and shared with the Morning Sentinel by Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis.

Pedestrians should instead use the crosswalks located further north on Main Street, between Franklin Hall and the university’s admissions office and near parking lot #7 adjacent to the Old South First Congregational Church.

The decision to close the crosswalk originates from a request made to UMF and the town of Farmington by the Maine DOT in a recent pedestrian safety audit.

In his email, McKay said both the town and the Farmington Police Department supported the closure because the crosswalk’s location at the top of a hill is a contributor to many safety concerns when it comes to visibility and vehicles having the ability to start and stop on the hill.


“We have had problems there,” said Farmington Police Department Chief Deputy Shane Cote. “Specifically in the winter, if there’s a snowstorm and traffic has to stop, big tractor trailers have a hard time getting started again on that hill.”

The department has had problems with pedestrians being struck at the South Street crosswalk as well as the two that follow it, though there haven’t been any recent cases of serious injuries, Cote said.

“With three crosswalks so close together, traffic may stop, and then once it gets going they have to stop again,” Cote said. “It’s not necessarily a problem. It’s more a sense of frustration for drivers, though there have been some pedestrian accidents right there in front of (Scott Hall).”

Cote said he is hopeful closing the South Street crosswalk will encourage people to use the others on Main Street that are more pedestrian friendly.

“I believe taking those lights down and putting barriers and signage up will encourage people to use the crosswalks further down,” Cote said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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