State, Rockland look to improve pedestrian danger zones

By Stephen Betts | Dec 11, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts About 75 people turn out Wednesday night, Dec. 6, at Oceanside High School for a forum on pedestrian safety in Rockland.

Rockland — The city and state transportation department will focus on making several locations across Rockland safer for pedestrians.

The Maine Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine held their last of 14 forums across the state Thursday night, Dec. 7, at Oceansde High School's cafeteria to seek public input on ways to make communities safer for pedestrians.

Seventy-five people turned out for the Rockland meeting. The turnout at the Rockland forum was the largest of any of the 14. City councilors, City Manager Manager Tom Luttrell, Police Chief Bruce Boucher and Public Services Director David St. Laurent were in attendance.

Boucher said 10 locations were identified as requiring to be examined for improvements. The DOT will report back to the city with recommendations on making improvements.

The 10 locations include Main Street from Park Street to the Maine State Ferry Terminal, the intersection of Union and Rankin streets,  Maverick Street from Camden Street to North Main Street, Park Street from Union to Main, North Main, Main Street by The Home Kitchen Cafe, the intersection of Broadway and Thomaston Street, the intersection of Main and Limerock Street, the intersection of Limerock and Broadway, and the intersection of Park and Broad Street.

Two intersections that have already been identified for upgrades are Park and Main streets, and Broadway and Thomaston Street. Both projects are scheduled to be done in the spring.

For Park and Main,the city received an $80,000 grant from the state. The upgrade will include moving the crosswalk in front of the Brass Compass closer to the intersection.

The crosswalk signals in the city will be examined to make sure they are working properly. The sidewalks adjacent to crosswalks will be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The police chief said the downtown crosswalks will be studied to make sure there are adequate sight lines for motorists to see people walking into the crosswalks from sidewalks. He said some parking spaces may be lost to ensure that sight lines are adequate.

At Thomaston and Broadway, a new traffic light will be erected. The current one uses coils under the road, but those are not as reliable and are more expensive to maintain. The planned new one would use cameras to detect motion.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Ron Hawkes | Dec 12, 2017 16:13

What is the speed limit in downtown Rockland? Is it posted? If not is it 25MPH? Perhaps a solution would be to make it 15 MPH from Park St to the Ferry Terminal. If it's 25 you know people are doing 30-35 no problem. If it was 15 perhaps we could get them to drive under 25MPH. I walk my dogs downtown a lot and hardly ever see a patrol car. Would love to see some radar done by the ferry terminal from the hotel parking lot. Speeders are usually going at a pretty good clip at that spot.


Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Dec 12, 2017 09:08

Steve, it appeared that they had an interest but most of the people attending lived between Park and Rankin and Broadway. I believe it had more to do with neighbours supporting neighbours as well as only so much money is available. We were given about ten minutes to speak before the group so a select few got heard. As for speeders, the only way to stop that is through the drivers pocketbook, however one must be stopped and fined for that to happen. The triangle at Gen Berry Square on Water and So Main is very dangerous to pedestrians due to the amount of traffic and the speed. If you pay attention to this problem then there is one. Slow them down coming into town and it may slow the middle down.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 12, 2017 08:49

Yes Chris important to keep streets clean. Often annoyed how computer programs think they know better than you what you wanted to say. Re: Francis comment on speeding. Wanted to ask if you felt that organisers of the meeting had little interest in the public's comments and already had the answers they wanted ?

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Dec 11, 2017 15:20

There was plenty of mention about speeding as well as the south end of town. However, as you can read the business district from Park headed north gets all the attention. They had four or five groups looking at maps and advised couples to go to different maps because the more an  got mentioned the more weight it had. Obviously the Southend had less people so that makes it less dangerous. I can see I wasted my time .

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Dec 11, 2017 14:52

How about a few road bump stoppers before each cross walk to make a bumpy ride for the speeders and remind them that people are walking?

Posted by: Chris Brown | Dec 11, 2017 13:17

I think you mean deterrents, rather than detergents? Unless you're talking about keeping the streets clean, literally? Happy Holidays!

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 11, 2017 09:12

As my journalist friend Emmett would say " never let facts interfere with a good story".  I see there was no mention of speed.  Cars racing down main Street and no detergents like cameras or fines for speeders. With more distracted driver's on the road the improved signs will make little difference.  But it sure sounds good on paper

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