I recently received a letter from a fellow resident of Cape Elizabeth who told me that I should reconsider my support for intersection improvements in the center of town because I was “clearly in the minority.” Assuming that this person was correct, I am writing this letter to the majority of Cape residents to ask them to reconsider their opposition to the project.
I support this project because of the improvement to pedestrian safety it will produce. In its current form, this intersection discourages adults and kids from walking or riding bicycles to town schools, ball parks and trails. The signal project straightens the alignment of the intersection and will significantly shorten crosswalk distances. Signalization of the intersection will make it safer for children and the elderly to cross it.
In addition, this is a project that will need to be done sooner or later. Both Cape and the region are still growing, and traffic volume is, too. It is prudent and responsible for the town to undertake this project now, rather than in five years, when the price tag will be significantly higher. The town’s share of the project is currently about $715,000, and even if the town abandons the project, Cape could owe the state as much as $125,000. It is fiscally responsible to undertake this project now. This project is like putting on a roof before the old one fails – it is responsible, proactive community maintenance. It’s the smart thing to do.