Friday, December 13, 2019

Area elected officials work to increase safety at dangerous intersections in Windham

Windham Delegation are teaming up with others to make
Windham intersections safe
By Lorraine Glowczak

In late November, Windham’s Legislators met with Chief Kevin Schofield and Captain Andrew Williams of the Windham Police Department along with Town Council Chair Jarrod Maxfield and members of MaineDOT (Department of Transportation) and the owners of All In One Insulation, for an on-site visit at the dangerous intersection of Route 302 and Albion Road.

Rep. Mark Bryant explained that the on-site visit was requested by the Windham Legislative Delegation.  “We reviewed crash data and discussed short- and long-term solutions to improve safety at this dangerous intersection as well as other roads in Windham,” Bryant state. 

Diane and I have lived in our home on the Albion Road for over 30 years and have come upon many accidents at the dangerous intersection of route 302 and Albion Road, as well as the dangerous intersection of Route 202 and Falmouth Road. There have been many improvements to both intersections over the years, but the population of Greater Windham has grown. The increase in traffic warrants immediate corrective action to promote the safety of our community on our roads. We are also working to speed up the implementation of the scheduled improvements to Route 202 and Falmouth Road.”

The crash rate at the Route 302/Albion Road intersection is higher than the statewide average, presently at .83 where the statewide average is .14 which alerts the need for change and safety. to Chief Schofield, there have been 25 crashes at that location in the past five years. “Twenty-four out of those 25 had some level of personal injury,” he said.

At the Monday meeting last month, MaineDOT continued to review the traffic and crash data to determine the best resolution to improve safety. Possible long-term solutions discussed included whether or not a traffic signal or a flashing beacon be best warranted at this location. 

Meghan Russo, Manager of Legislative and Constituent Services stated , “There were a few near future items the MaineDOT State Traffic Engineer, Steve Landry, believed could be beneficial. Those included extending one of the medians on Route 302 and painting both medians green as well as installing tubular markers on both Route 302 islands.  It also included moving the stop bar on one of the Albion Road approaches, extending the edge lines on Route 302 through the intersection to define it better, and painting ‘Stop Ahead’ on the Albion Road approach with the hill.”

“The Albion Road and 302 intersection has been a concern for many of my constituents for some time,” stated Rep. Patrick Corey. “Recent trends in residential development have and will continue to increase the number of folks using that intersection to access a major thoroughfare. Windham’s people will be safer with these necessary improvements initiated by Windham’s Legislative Delegation and our ongoing work with the town and MDOT.” Rep. Bryant mentioned, there has also been a focus on the intersection of Route 202 and Falmouth Road. Senator Bill Diamond stated that there has been updated discussions with MDOT to expedite an implementation date for the traffic lights that have been DOT approved at this intersection. “The most recent accident at that ‘high crash’ intersection only accentuates the need for it to be upgraded as soon as possible,” Diamond said. “Mark, Patrick and I have been raising the level of urgency with DOT and I talked with the Commissioner last Thursday and the staff is looking at the possibility of a new implementation timeline.”

Jarrod Maxfield, Chair of the Windham Town Council stated that road safety is of concern to the Council, as they receive many calls from Windham residents. Maxfield explained that from a town council perspective, Route 302 is a state road. “We can definitely make our concerns known to the state, but in the end, it is a state road and a state decision. But I have to give a lot of credit to Rep. Bryant and the Windham delegation for getting all the parties together in the same room to get the ball rolling and make this intersection safer.”

Diamond continued, “Having MDOT safety officials actually come to Windham to see firsthand the dangerous intersections like Route 302 and Albion Road and the Falmouth Road and Route 202 makes a big difference in securing safety improvements. The Windham Legislative Delegation works as a team and we will continue to engage state agencies whenever necessary to protect the safety of our citizens.”  

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