The addition of a flashing red light on top of the stop sign at the intersection of Route 1 and Main Street in Damariscotta fulfills one of the first action items on a draft report containing recommendations to improve the safety at intersections along Route 1.
In October, the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen authorized Town Manager Matt Lutkus to formally request a safety audit of the intersection of Route 1 and Belvedere Road from the Maine Department of Transportation due to resident concerns about the intersection. After speaking with DOT Traffic Engineer Steve Landry, Lutkus recommended the expansion of the safety audit to include the intersection of Route 1 and Main Street.
The safety audit committee, made up of Damariscotta town officials, residents, and business owners, met earlier this year to review the intersections and produce recommendations about how to improve safety at the intersections.
Using the recommendations, DOT Traffic Engineer David Allen compiled a draft safety audit report, which he sent to the town June 21.
The draft report lists 11 action items to be completed by the DOT, the town, or both. Each action item comes with a target time frame – within the year, between one and five years, or in more than five years.
The installation of the red flashing light above the stop sign at the Route 1-Main Street intersection fulfills a short-term goal set to be completed within this year by the DOT.
Another action item addresses the need to relocate some of the light poles near the intersection to increase visibility.
Other short-term goals include the clearing of vegetation near the Route 1-Belvedere Road intersection to improve visibility and installing yellow plastic curbing around the island at the intersection.
Goals for the next five years include the DOT’s installation of a centerline rumble strip along Route 1 and a stop sign with an LED perimeter at the intersection of Route 1 and Main Street.
The town is responsible for improving the overhead lighting at the Route 1 and Belvedere Road intersection within the next five years, according to the draft safety audit.
The single long-term action item calls for the reconfiguration of the right turn from the northbound lane of Route 1 onto Main Street to accommodate a larger truck, according to the draft safety audit. The report calls for the DOT to complete the work in more than five years.
The draft safety audit contains two additional items for consideration in the future by the town and the DOT.
The first action item calls for the reconfiguration of the Route 1-Belvedere Road intersection, which could include a turning lane, a traffic signal, a roundabout, or a prohibition on left turns.
The other item calls for restricting trucks from using Belvedere Road between Route 1 and Main Street.