To the editor:
This letter will hopefully be read by concerned citizens who may or may not have heard or know of the plans the Maine Department of Transportation has for the historic section of downtown Wiscasset.
The department is strongly pushing for a plan, known as Option 2, which would totally eliminate public parking on Main Street (Route 1) and its side streets, all of this in the cause of reducing the traffic back-ups in summer, which Wiscasset is famous for.
This plan, estimated to cost between $2.5 million and $5 million, will certainly beautify the downtown area, but at a devastating cost to the business and property owners and the town, and in the end there are no guarantees it will work any better than previous endeavors.
The off-street parking areas in the plan are many hundreds of feet away from its businesses, making it totally inconvenient for any customer in good weather, worse in rainy weather, and downright treacherous in winter conditions.
Previously everything that has ever been thought of to improve Wiscasset’s traffic has failed miserably or made the situation worse.
Option 2 has no guarantees it’ll be any different, with one serious afterthought. After it’s completed, and as we all expect, fails to make any significant difference, there is no undoing these changes. It will permanently damage the business owners and, worse yet, will jeopardize the whole economic future of the historic town of Wiscasset, Maine.
There is only one plan that is guaranteed to solve this and that’s a bypass, which has been discussed many times since 1968.
I strongly urge you to vote for Option 3 in the upcoming referendum on June 14.
Option 3 is the option to do nothing, leaving the village intact, thus guaranteeing its historic preservation and the future success of its business owners.