If approved, Falmouth’s Route 1 improvement plan will result in a wonderful park where residents can socialize and go for a walk. Unfortunately for businesses in that area, it will most likely mean a decrease in customers and an eventual relocation to a more profitable town.
When was the last time you noticed a line of bicycles at the drive-through at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? How often do people walk to Shaw’s, or soon to Walmart, to get their groceries? When was the last time half of the Falmouth Shopping Center wasn’t vacant? In the morning and again in the afternoon, how many pedestrians do you see waiting at the light at Middle Road and Bucknam Road to walk left and and onto the Interstate to get into Portland?
Since the reduction in travel lanes coming into and going out of Falmouth on Route 1, Middle Road has become a thruway. If it takes longer to drive to a business on Route 1, customers will go elsewhere. There’s a reason for commercially zoned areas in a town. It is where commerce takes place. It’s where businesses put up signs to attract customers.
If the Route 1 plan is approved we’re going to have a really nice park. But we’ll have to leave town to buy a cup of good coffee, or get groceries.