Splitting up neighborhoods with a new arterial or highway has been one of
the biggest social harms of the automobile era, especially mid-20th century
during urban renewal and the buildout of the interstate highway system. In
cities of all sizes, both efforts usually chose "blighted" areas for these
"improvements", which had the effect of displacing many poor residents,
often minorities, and destroying once-thriving neighborhoods, albeit ones
that were avoided by more well off people, such as those doing the
planning. The effect has been exactly what you cite in Westbrook, cutting
residents off from essential services, which in many cases further
impoverishes and endangers them. I know from my involvement in Portland
that residents in the Libbytown, Woodfords Corner, Morrill's Corner and
Nason's Corner neighborhoods still resent the presence of Outer Congress
Street, Forest Avenue, and Brighton Avenue, and continue to advocate
heavily for pedestrian and bicyclist safety through those corridors.
On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM Dennis Marrotte <
John, Thank You for your accurate, articulate views. I agree 100 +%.
A neighbor Friend told me last year, whom I once knew Decades ago when he
was in school, Local Residents on Central Street were upset when Wayside
Drive was built which is known as WCD today, because it cut them Off from
Downtown Westbrook. The shortest direct way between Two Points is a
Straight Line and that will never change
Even with a 4 lane Motor Vehicle Bypass in between....
On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 4:32 PM John Brooking <johnbrooking4@xxxxxxxxx>
In my opinion, the root cause of people continuing to cross at Central
Street instead of Mechanic has much more to do with human nature than the
state of the sign. For one thing, people often don't notice signs even when
they are shiny and new. But even more, if you're walking down Central
Street on your way to the the CVS plaza, it doesn't naturally occur to
people to walk a block out of their way just to get directly across the
street from where they started, and even if it does, many people will just
choose not to. (Sometimes me.) In some cases, maybe they don't know, or
they forget, but some people just don't see it as a concern. Walking is
such a natural human thing that the idea of following rules when you do it
is still a pretty heavy lift, I think. It's only been in the last 100 years
that we've started asking people to modify their natural walking behavior
(like following the straightest line between two points) to adapt to motor
vehicles, and it's yet to be all that effective.
On Thu, Sep 10, 2020 at 5:18 PM Dennis Marrotte <
Understood, John. I was at Sportsman's Hardware when two Women and a
Daughter of one of them ? 8 or 9 , watched for the traffic to stop back
at the Mechanic Street Lights and watched for a Gap Westbound to cross WCD
at Central Street where the faded Universal Do Not Cross Signs are and the
reverse on their return across WCD when I came out of the Hardware Store
and saw the same trio coming back across. Most take the time to use the
Crosswalk controls at WCD and Mechanic Street but a LOT MORE cross at
That is NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE TO SET FOR A YOUNG GIRL.
On Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 4:58 PM John Brooking <johnbrooking4@xxxxxxxxx>
You'd have to ask Public Services.
On Thu, Sep 10, 2020 at 3:34 PM Dennis Marrotte <
The attached photo, from Thursday afternoon, September 10, 2020, is
looking across WCD from the Sportsman's Hardware Store.
The RED Universal DO NOT CROSS SYMBOL on the walking Pedestrian Sign
is fading fast. It is actually two signs back to back. The black Arrow
To try to convince people NOT TO CROSS THE 4 LANES OF WCD WHERE
CENTRAL STREET NOW ENDS IN FRONT OF SPORTSMAN'S HARDWARE STORE AND
SIGN POINTS TO THE PEDESTRIAN PUSHBUTTON ACTIVATED CONTROLS FOR THE
MARKED CROSSWALK AT THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL CONTROLLED 4 WAY INTERSECTION FOR
WCD and MECHANIC STREET.
ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO REPLACE THE FADING SIGNS WITH SHINY NEW ONES?
Dennis Marrotte for WSMAC