We lose all of this to save 4 minutes?

To support its claim that expanding its highway to Gorham will save drivers time, the Turnpike Authority commissioned a study to look at the growth patterns that would result if it were to relieve traffic in the area.

The study concludes that the highway would have almost no impact on growth patterns and sprawl, because the new turnpike only saves the rush hour commuters an average 4 minutes per trip.

Will the Gorham Connector Cause Sprawl?” Page 11. Report commissioned by MTA, January 2022

The MTA wants to have it both ways – they claim in one breath that the highway will have such a small impact on commutes that no development patterns will change, and in the next that the highway will relieve terrible congestion on area roads. Both things can’t be true. That’s not how it works.

There are costs and benefits to any infrastructure we build. Do we trust that the Turnpike Authority has this right? After all, the MTA is not in the business of relieving congestion – they’re in the business of building toll highways and charging Mainers tolls to use them. When you’re a hammer, all the world’s a nail.

And for $50 million a mile, losing Smiling Hill Farm, Red Brook, Mainers’ homes, forests and wildlife to save 4 minutes just isn’t worth it.