Police and traffic advisory

Entrance to Central Street from Route 1 now prohibited

By Susan Mustapich | Jul 11, 2018
Courtesy of: Camden Police Department Cars are no longer allowed to enter Central Street in Camden from Route 1.

CAMDEN — Drivers can no longer enter Central Street from Route 1, at the Main, Mountain and High street intersection, as part of an effort to reduce speeding through a residential area in downtown Camden.

Central Street is a common short cut used by motorists heading south on Route 1 (High Street) to avoid the downtown area.

"Do not enter" and "wrong way" signs have been erected on the Route 1 side of Central Street. The short section of Central between Route 1 and Cross Street will remain two-way, in order not to inconvenience those who live there, according to Police Chief Randy Gagne.

A group of residents who live on Cross and Central streets have asked the town for assistance with motorists who speed and run a stop sign at the intersection of the two streets.

At a public meeting in April, Jo-Ann Wilson spoke on behalf of her neighbors, expressing concern for the safety of children and pedestrians, due to drivers entering Central from Route 1 at high speed, and many who ran the stop sign at Cross Street. At the time, Wilson suggested changing the traffic pattern, to prevent drivers from entering Central Street from Route 1.

Gagne and other town officials are familiar with motorists who encounter slowing traffic while driving south on Route 1 as they approach downtown Camden.. As drivers crest a hill on Route 1, they see Mountain and Central Streets as the first possible exits to avoid downtown traffic. While Mountain Street is State Route 52, Central is a curved residential street with limited visibility and no sidewalks.

Gagne told the Select Board July 10 that the Camden Police Department is currently conducting a speed study and traffic count on Cross Street. A speed study in April showed that the averge speed was 23 miles per hour, and did not exceed the speed limit, according to the Police Chief.

Gagne said the current speed study is showing the same average speed, but over a three-day period the number of cars was about 1,000 more than in April.

On July 10, Wilson and others from the downtown neighborhood attending the Select Board meeting thanked Gagne and town officials for their responsiveness. Wilson also asked that neighbors have access to meet with town officials again, if as a result of barring entrance to Central from Route 1 they saw additional problems on Cross Street.

Gagne and Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell said they would be able to talk about any results of the traffic pattern change. Caler-Bell said the issue of traffic calming in the town's neighborhoods will be examined and discussed in the future.

Police will monitor Central Street, Gagne said, and will work with motorists to educate them about the change.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Jul 13, 2018 05:36

Why not just enforce the traffic laws in place to eliminate the problem instead of inconveniencing the locals which use this short cut to make their travel through town more bearable especially during the tourists season !

What's next Chestnut or Bayview Streets ?

Posted by: Chris Mcintosh | Jul 12, 2018 15:38


Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jul 12, 2018 08:17

Yet another bandaid approach taken from Rockland's guide book of pedrestian safety.  The problem is providing an "alternate" traffic route to eliminate the bottle neck downtown.  Camden has more limited options than Rockland, yet possibilities if they choose to exercise.

Posted by: Jeannie L. Wood | Jul 12, 2018 06:18

It is already bad enough to go through this town during the summer as people cross when & where they want. Now the short cut is taken away from the locals, maybe law enforcement should bag the people for jaywalking, make del. trucks park off main st instead of blocking the road during the day. Scott Wood

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