A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Downtown Yarmouth, Maine

For anyone who still has any doubts about how brain-dead and/or sadistic Maine's traffic engineers are, I present these photographs of Route One through the village center in Yarmouth, Maine.

This is the view towards the town post office and a large elderly housing complex. The town's main supermarket is just up the hill from here. Hundreds of homes lie within a half-mile radius of this intersection, and would be within easy walking distance of these village-center services if the road through the center of it all weren't explicitly designed to promote speeding, aggressive driving, and road rage in general.

And here's a detail of the crosswalk. If you've successfully managed to cross five lanes of traffic without getting hit, they've thoughtfully installed a guardrail that forces you to stay in the roadway for just a while longer. It's like they've offered you a ladder out of a pool of sharks, but the last three rungs are missing.

After decades of mismanaging tax dollars and bungling the design and construction of our transportation infrastructure, MDOT is now facing big shortfalls and substantial layoffs. Couldn't happen to a nicer agency, if you ask me.

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