Alternatives to highway expansion haven’t even been studied


In the American Journal on April 23, M4ST member and Gorham resident Abby King points out that the Maine Turnpike Authority’s 2012 feasibility study calls for studying both local road improvements and a highway. Abby calls for Gorham to pull out of the planning process until alternatives have actually been studied.

Further, the Maine Legislature’s preliminary bonding legislation in 2017 called for an ‘evaluation of sensible alternatives’. There are many sensible alternatives to improve conditions on Routes 114 and 22, from roundabouts to better traffic lights, to from improved local street connections and bus rapid transit.

Seems prudent and fiscally responsible to us.

From the American Sentinel:

The Maine Turnpike Authority’s proposed highway spur to Gorham is an irreversible mistake. It will ruin our village center and local economy, create sprawl, and will not solve our traffic problem.

The Maine Turnpike Authority continues to hang their hat on a 2012 study as proof that we need this highway, but the Gorham East-West Corridor Feasibility Study does not recommend the highway over other local and state road improvements. The study examined two roadway improvement scenarios to address congestion. Scenario 1 includes a number of intersection improvements for existing roads and other small-scale changes that would improve traffic flow. Scenario 2 includes the new highway spur. This study recommends “that both scenarios be carried forward for further evaluation…”

So where is the evaluation of Scenario 1? The Gorham Town Council must demand that these alternatives to the turnpike be studied.

Our state senators and representatives also need to take action to stop this senseless project. When the Legislature authorized this turnpike spur in 2017, it was contingent upon the turnpike authority “completing an evaluation of reasonable alternatives, as required by the Sensible Transportation Policy Act.” The Legislature required that the turnpike authority determine that there is no reasonable alternative to the construction of a connector to meet the identified need.

The MTA has determined no such thing, as no study of alternative roadway improvements has been done.

American Sentinel, April 23, 2024