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Cumberland seeks remedies for Thomas Drive traffic concerns

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Cumberland seeks remedies for Thomas Drive traffic concerns

CUMBERLAND — The town is looking into ways to address traffic concerns of residents of the Thomas Drive area.

Don Fisher, who lives at the 55-and-older Rockwood Condominiums, expressed his concerns to the Town Council Feb. 10. He said he was representing about 100 condo owners, as well as SHP Acquisitions and the Toddle Inn Learning Center, which also use Thomas Drive.

While there have been problems with access Route 1 from Thomas Drive, the new Interstate 295 northbound entrance in Yarmouth has added to the traffic flow, Fisher explained.

"We believe that it's becoming more and more unsafe for the people who are trying to get out of Thomas Drive, and also to get into Thomas Drive, especially at night," Fisher said.

With Route 1 being a state road, the Thomas Drive residents want the Town Council's help in making a pitch to the state to improve safety at the intersection, Fisher said.

He noted that a curve in Route 1 south toward Falmouth creates a short sight line, and that the view looking north toward Yarmouth is not much better, making pulling out from Thomas Drive into fast-moving traffic precarious.

Public Services Director Chris Bolduc plans to install delineators at the curves of both sides of the entrance to Thomas Drive, Town Manager Bill Shane said last week. The town will also discuss with Central Maine Power Co. the installation of a new street light at the intersection, in order to improve nighttime visibility.

Traffic and speed counts at the intersection – which also includes the Chebeague Transportation Co. parking lot across from Thomas Drive – will start this spring.

After collecting the necessary data, the town will present it to the state traffic engineer to consider whether the area is eligible for a caution light, and to determine whether turn lanes into Thomas Drive are necessary.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.