While the Newcastle Board of Selectmen continues to support the placement of at least one seasonal speed bump in Damariscotta Mills, the Maine Department of Transportation recently told the town administrator it will not place any speed bumps in the Mills.
DOT Traffic Engineer Dave Allen visited the Newcastle and Nobleboro boards of selectmen in separate meetings in August 2016 to discuss the department’s proposal to purchase and install seasonal speed bumps and signage. Nobleboro was to have two speed bumps and Newcastle one.
The purpose of the speed bumps would be to slow vehicles in an area with high pedestrian traffic, particularly due to the village’s swimming hole.
Both boards unanimously approved the project, however, the Nobleboro Board of Selectmen reversed its decision after receiving feedback opposing the speed bumps from residents of the village.
After learning of Nobleboro’s reversal, the Newcastle Board of Selectmen reaffirmed its decision to place at least one speed bump on its side of the village during a meeting last September.
Newcastle Town Administrator Jon Duke said he recently spoke with Allen, who told him the plan to place a speed bump in Newcastle had been scrapped.
“He informed us that this had to be a two-town solution because of the proposed location of the speed bumps,” Duke said. “Really the only solution is for the towns to do something collaboratively, and unfortunately, we don’t have an answer to solve that problem right now.”
Having heard the concerns of village residents, Duke said the Newcastle selectmen continue to support any traffic-calming measures.
“We need to find a solution that everyone can get behind, not just the towns of Newcastle and Nobleboro, but the larger community of Damariscotta Mills,” Duke said. “We’re certainly in favor of jumping on board with a solution.”