Letter: Speed reduction on I-295 makes sense

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Foremost among my duties as a legislator is to ensure the safety of Maine citizens, especially those in my own district.

In 2014 the maximum speed on Interstate 295 was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph. Since that change there has been a substantial rise in traffic accidents and deaths. This uptick has been especially noticeable on the stretch of highway between Brunswick and Falmouth.

According to data compiled by the Maine Department of Transportation, this 22-mile section has seen an increase in traffic volume of 6.4 percent and a nearly 30 percent increase in accidents. The highway is especially dangerous during the morning and evening commutes.

In the face of hard facts like these, doing nothing was not an option. I introduced legislation, with bi-partisan support, to reduce the speed limit on this part of I-295. This week I was pleased to learn that MDOT, in response to both the legislation and their own studies, has decided to decrease the speed limit back to 65 mph between Falmouth and Brunswick.

Solving important problems with common-sense solutions is one of the pleasures of serving in the Maine Legislature. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to represent you, and I hope you will contact me with your concerns and ideas regarding state government.

State Rep. Teresa Pierce