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Erin Street neighbors: 'Fatality waiting to happen'

By Christine Simmonds | Jun 23, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Thomaston resident Nancy Wood addresses pedestrian safety concerns at the June 22 Select Board meeting.

Thomaston — A petition regarding dangerous driving speeds prompted the Thomaston Select Board to approve a new weight limit and more speed limit signs on Erin Street. The board also approved research into the price of installing Speed Tables to slow vehicles.

Erin Street resident Nancy Wood read a prepared statement at the opening of the discussion. She described an incident she witnessed recently on Erin Street where a vehicle going “significantly over the speed limit” almost struck a young boy on a bicycle.

Wood said many people walk and bike on Erin Street, and vehicles often speed. “It’s a fatality waiting to happen,” she said.

Wood asked the board to authorize the two existing speed limit signs to be moved to more visible locations, as well as adding more speed limit signs to the street. She also requested that the street have a weight limit to stop the “constant parade of dump trucks” and eighteen-wheelers that currently use it.

Thomaston Police Chief Tim Hoppe confirmed Wood’s statement. “Ms. Wood is correct,” Hoppe told them, and stated he already moved the current speed limit signs. He then asked the board to approve more speed limit signs and requested the installation of speed tables.

Speed tables are an alternative to speed bumps, and slow vehicles down without causing damage.

The board voted to investigate the cost of installing speed tables and authorized Hoppe to order and install the requested signs.

In other business, the board approved the new restaurant, Station 118, for an on-premises license to sell vinous and malt liquor. Troy Crane and Andrew Bridge were in attendance for the restaurant. Bridge said they hope to open “as early as possible.”

The board approved the Customer Service and Billing Agreement with Maine Water Company for sewer billing. Pollution Control Superintendent John Fancy said the agreement would save the town “about $10,000 a year.”

The board approved the Thomaston Police Department to add a detective position instead of hiring a new patrolman. Hoppe said the addition of a detective position would allow the current police officers to focus on enforcing and responding to safety issues.

The board discussed the proposal from Coastal Opportunities to build a residential facility on the Thomaston Green. The 4,400 square foot facility would house six residents and replace the existing home located at 307 Main St.

The board voted to table the issue until more information can be acquired.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Ann M Frisbie | Jun 24, 2020 09:34

The Green in Trhomaston should stay Green and not have housing. The children play soccer and other games. Families spend time on the open green, PLEASE LEAVE IT OPEN AND GREEN

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jun 24, 2020 09:23

speaking of a dangerous by pass that I would say and have said on numerous occasions to the Police Chief and other local officials.  "Old County Road", Especially the section near the Route 17 intersection.  Now that the State has improved the road they go even faster and by the way "louder".  A constant parade of dump trucks commercial haulers not to mention all the ambulance traffic to Pen Bay.  At least citizens have the ear of Thomaston's select board, in Rockland we need to wait for a fatality before any action is even considered.  I actually would like to return to the days of gaping pot holes on Old County.  Maybe a sink hole would slow them down or even better "Jersey Barriers" we seam to have a few of those decorating Main Street.

Posted by: Joanne Lee Richards | Jun 23, 2020 12:51

Thank you Nancy for bringing a dangerous situation to the attention of the town. Erin Street is not a bypass although many use it as such. There have been issues of speeding on the street since I can remember but it has gotten really out of control and needs to stop. I support the installation of the speed tables and additional signage.

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