Tuesday, June 17, 2014
With debt to this post on Streetsblog, I was curious to see how much of the Old Port could potentially fit in the acres of downtown real estate occupied by the Exit 6 interchange on Interstate 295. Most of it, as it turns out. In the gif above, an aerial view of Exit 6 alternates with a rotated view of the Old Port at the same scale. That's the green-roofed City Hall at the western end of Exit 6 near the USM parking garage, and the Custom House is at the other end near Preble Street. Post Office Park occupies less space than the lawn of a single cloverleaf loop.
This cloverleaf intersection, by the way, is one of the most dangerous places to drive in the entire state — it's the home to several designated "high-crash locations" and has been described by state officials as having an "obsolete" design that whips cars into vortices of high-speed merges. But those are just lovable foibles! Our highway engineers literally can't think about getting rid of this adorable, city-eating monstrosity.
The Exit 6 interchange is a prime example of Governor Paul LePage's socialist land policy, whereby acres of extremely valuable real estate are wasted in extremely inefficient uses by the central-planning bureaucrats at the State Department of Transportation.