Walsh, Town At Odds Over Traffic Flow



BAR HARBOR  — Sought-after traffic flow changes near hotel developer Tom Walsh’s proposed West Street Hotel have met with solid resistance from town department heads.

 

The nine-member parking and traffic committee (PTC), including the heads of the police, fire and public works departments, voted unanimously Nov. 4 against Mr. Walsh’s plan to convert a portion of Rodick Street into two-way traffic. The vote represents a change from August, when the committee voted narrowly in favor of the idea.

The vote comes in square opposition to the traffic report Mr. Walsh commissioned, within which John Theriault of James Sewall Co. concluded in favor of the proposed changes. Mr. Walsh told the PTC and the planning board that changing traffic patterns around the site would the “right and safe thing for the community.”

PTC chairman Nate Young, the Bar Harbor police chief, said that committee members, however, all took issue with the idea of turning half of the lowermost block of one-way Rodick Street into two-way traffic. It is not feasible to widen the entire block to permit two-way traffic because of building constraints.

In the end, the planning board accepted Mr. Theriault’s traffic study without comment. The public hearing on the proposed West Street hotel is slated to continue on Nov. 18.

For more political news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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