JEDC endorses Route 27 corridor improvements

Posted:  Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 9:00am

After considerable public input and based on a careful review of the plans put forth to date, including the response from the independent third party review, the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Joint Economic Development Committee (JEDC) endorses the proposed plans to improve traffic flow along the Route 27 corridor.  The proposed improvements, which have been thoroughly reviewed by traffic flow consultants, Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and reassessed by an independent third party, address the majority of questions raised by community members about the plan to improve traffic flow on Route 27.

For the last year, the JEDC has been working hard to identify ways to promote the economic growth of the greater Boothbay peninsula. Although many businesses contribute to our local economy, the JEDC agreed getting more people to visit the peninsula and extending our “shoulder season” is one feasible short term strategy to kick start a stronger economy. One way to enhance the visitor experience is to address traffic flow and safety issues such as those at the Boothbay Common. 

Members of the JEDC, which include representatives from Southport, have attended the proposed roundabout presentations, reviewed and discussed the rationale for the proposed approach and listened to the public comments and suggestions raised by residents and others. We compliment the Boothbay Selectmen on their consistent commitment to transparency and encouraging public input on this process.  From the beginning, JEDC members felt it was important to solicit public input so residents could critique the proposed plans, provide suggestions to improve the plans and address concerns before taking any official action.

The public discussion of the roundabout has expanded to include many questions and concerns about the expansion of development from the Country Club, yet the fundamental fact remains that MDOT identified significant traffic flow issues at the Center that should have been addressed more than a decade ago.  Now, with more and more visitors coming to the peninsula to visit the Harbor and nationally-recognized attractions like the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, our community needs to be proactive to address the traffic issues at the Boothbay Center to improve traffic flow and safety. 

We realize there are many diverse opinions about the Route 27 corridor improvement plan, and the presentations have generated robust public discussion. The JEDC is pleased that this issue has energized and engaged people throughout the peninsula.  As part of our work, the JEDC is deeply committed to ensuring that the people in our region contribute their ideas and suggestions as we work together to promote economic development that builds on our region’s unique assets.