For the following reasons, I fully support upgrading sidewalks and removing parking on Main Street in Wiscasset, as called for under Option 2 of the Maine Department of Transportation’s Wiscasset Downtown Improvement Project:

n Safety: Having parking on Main Street is a major safety issue for both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers cannot see oncoming traffic or pedestrians when attempting to back out of any one of the on-street parking spaces. Drivers such as myself cannot see approaching traffic when we try entering Main Street from side streets, because the parked vehicles are blocking the drivers’ view.

Also, drivers are parking in the Main Street spaces, exiting their vehicles and immediately crossing Main Street without utilizing designated crosswalks. Accidents are just waiting to happen.

n Accessibility: Currently, our downtown is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our downtown streets and sidewalks are in deplorable condition and are a major safety issue. Wiscasset does not have the resources for needed repairs. Option No. 2 will address and fix these issues, making our downtown accessible and safe for everyone.

As a Wiscasset resident and member of the Project Advisory Committee, I have witnessed MDOT management and representatives conduct themselves in a professional and transparent way when working with our town’s select board and residents. MDOT’s representatives have listened to and addressed every concern from residents and business owners. MDOT made changes and compromises to project design when appropriate to help alleviate concerns and issues.

I, along with the majority of residents of Wiscasset and the midcoast communities, continue to support the Downtown Improvement Plan with Option No. 2. We are looking forward to our improved and safer village.

Let’s stop this wasteful lawsuit! I urge my fellow residents to vote “no” on the April 17 referendum.

Lonnie Kennedy-Patterson