The Dresden Board of Selectmen has set aside a parking ban and will instead ask the state to install a flashing light at the intersection of Routes 27 and 127.
The selectmen briefly considered a parking ban along the southbound lane of Gardiner Road (Route 27) within sightlines of the intersection – about 255 feet north and 215 south, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.
Vehicles in this area block visibility and create a safety issue when motorists on Middle Road (Route 127) attempt to pull onto Gardiner Road, according to the selectmen, who cite complaints about the matter.
The proposal to ban parking sparked an outcry from Ship’s Chow Hall proprietor Lenny Santos and his customers. The restaurant sits just south of the intersection and diners often park in front of the building.
The Dresden Board of Selectmen discussed the ordinance with members of the public Monday, Nov. 3.
“We all want the intersection to be a safe one, and we have no intention of jeopardizing anyone in the attempt to provide a safe intersection,” Dresden First Selectman Phil Johnston said as an introduction to the discussion.
Over 40 people were present for the discussion, though only a few chose to share opinions.
“We’ve owned Ship’s Chow Hall on that intersection for over five years, and we’ve never seen an accident during our hours of operation,” Ship’s Chow Hall proprietor Lenny Santos said. “We shouldn’t have a ban on parking!”
“We want people to come to the community and to our restaurant,” Santos said. “We want to show people what we have to offer.”
The selectmen decided to forestall the parking ordinance after the discussion.
“We will discuss the matter with Lenny Santos in a workshop meeting Nov. 10,” Johnston said. “I’m sure we can work out something with the restaurant without having to sign any ordinances.”
“The board will sign and send a drafted letter to the Maine Department of Transportation regarding a blinking light being installed on that intersection,” Johnston said.