Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Parkadia Intersection

In recent months there has been considerable controversy over plans by the Maine DOT to improve traffic flow at the head of the island by creating a new intersection on Route 3 past Parkadia toward Bar Harbor and changing traffic flow on and off Route 102.

This is one of those situations where everyone agrees there is a problem but few have been able to agree on a solution. The issue is complicated by the presence of a two-lane bridge and causeway over conservation land that limit the options for expansion of the existing intersection, as well as traffic flows that vary widely both by time of day and season of the year. In addition, there are two businesses at the existing intersection that are promoting their own self-interests.

Living on an island, even one connected to the mainland by a bridge, means that getting on and off inevitably will require both compromise and patience on the part of residents and visitors alike. Because any long term fix at this intersection will be of considerable magnitude, it is extremely important to get it right the first time, as was suggested by a thoughtful writer in this week’s Bar Harbor Times. We believe that all stakeholders - the Town of Bar Harbor, the MDI League of Towns, Acadia National Park, the Maine DOT, and the businesses - should work together to come up with a creative solution. There is time to do a proper job, but the clock is ticking as traffic on and off the island increases every year and as state funding may be diverted elsewhere.