Jonathan Crimmins

Jonathan Crimmins

There is nothing that makes me less charitable in where I will choose to spend my hard-earned money than someone wasting my time. Why do I bring this up? Well the town of Wiscasset, in all their near-sighted wisdom is filing a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Transportation to stop a program that would help alleviate some of the state’s worst traffic.

I know what you are saying. So, what? Who cares about a law suit?

Have you ever had to take a trip up Route 1 and had to add a day or two’s worth of time to the trip just to make it through Wiscasset? I mean it took a shorter amount of time to travel westward on the Oregon Trail.

The main point of contention is the traffic that backs up at or near the bridge that crosses over into Edgecomb. Unfortunately, once the first vehicles get caught up in the mix the traffic jam quickly flows up Route 1 to the north and the south. It is not uncommon to see cars slow crawling their way past many of the fine establishments on the road like Big Al’s.

While we have all seen the ads with the nattily dressed purveyor of wolf shirts tell us about, “Rout One in Wiscasset,” it does not mean that I want to park outside the store on the roadway wondering if I am going to have enough gas to creep on up to the next convenience store.

This is not a new problem though. Wiscasset and the state, and by extension all of us who live in a 15 or 20-mile radius of Maine’s Prettiest Village, have heard of plans and ideas for years. Hints of movement on a deal. Even a plan to by pass the town altogether. All for naught.

We have been waiting for a solution to this traffic problem almost as long as the people of Brunswick have been waiting for a Central Fire Station. Though, on a coincidental side note, both the main drag in Wiscasset and the fire station off Maine Street were better suited for horses than the traffic they see now.

There are many great reasons to go to Wiscasset. You have Sarah’s. You have Red’s. You have small shops a plenty, but with the thought of the crushing traffic some of those places to visit and enjoy are just a step too far.

The town of Wiscasset, with the law suit, is engaging in an awkward version of a vehicular Stockholm Syndrome. For years traffic has held the town hostage and now, with survival at a potential turning point, the town believes that they must side with their captor.

Whether the town of Wiscasset prevails in the upcoming court fight or the state wins is of little difference. The important part of this is that a change must come to the tough stretch of road near the Sheepscot River. Maine’s roadways should not be made into impromptu parking lots because of a fear of lost business. If there is not some sort of action taken to alleviate the logjam the only thing longer than the line of cars trying to move will be the lines of people waiting to pick up a lobster roll at Red’s or Spragues.

It is time that a solution is found to fix this problem.

That’s my two cents…

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at j_ [email protected]


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