Broadway is a residential street dividing a distinguished and historic collection of homes, a new privately sponsored park, two schools and two churches. Its current design is a wide, straight, state highway, Route 1, with a posted speed limit (often exceeded) of 30 mph.

Residents of Broadway and intersecting streets express great concern about safety after five serious accidents within approximately 18 months, three of which resulted in a vehicle crashing into a house. We are also concerned about the constant heavy, speeding truck traffic that literally shakes us in our beds at night, the inevitable damage to infrastructure under the street as well as the noise and air pollution our neighborhood is exposed to as a result of these conditions.

The Maine Department of Transportation has not seen the need to reduce the speed limit to give relief from these conditions. However, they did suggest that a biking/parking lane drawn along the street might create some calming of traffic, and thus narrow the perception of a higher speed limit permissible on a highway, calming traffic respectful of a residential neighborhood

Therefore, we are requesting that the city retain a qualified traffic engineer with a reputation respected for both imaginative intervention and enhancement of safety, to outline a design such as one in which a lane be drawn on the sidewalk side of the street with “bulb-outs” at the corners of intersecting streets which will ultimately be planted with trees, shrubs and/or flowers to both beautify the street and provide some air and noise pollution buffers.

There are, no doubt, other cities in Maine who share some of these concerns and issues. We encourage those fellow citizens to create their own campaigns to make Maine truly reflect “the way life should be.”


Susan M. Clarke


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