Three Plans Being Considered To Ease Traffic Flow on Busy Route 302 in Windham
Summer is almost here and with the COVID threat diminishing and more people getting outdoors, summer traffic is about to return. The Town of Windham is hoping to do something about the bottleneck that is Route 302/Roosevelt Trail.
Summer Traffic in Windham Just Keeps Growing
If you've ever tried to get from the intersection of Roosevelt and Tandberg trails near Walgreens in Windham, down through the shopping area, and past the light at White Bridges Road, you know what a nightmare it can be at the height of the tourist season.
On Fridays, an endless stream of cars towing boats and campers comes from the Gray exit of the Maine Turnpike, over to Windham and taking a right toward Sebago Lake. On Sundays, it's the reverse. All those vehicles head home and back themselves up into the left turning lane, keeping anyone from turning into places like the Windham Plaza or Dairy Queen. It seems every summer the number of cars on 302 just keeps growing. What can be done about it? That's exactly the question being asked by the Town of Windham officials.
3 Plans to Improve Windham Traffic
According to WGME 13, the town is considering three options to help ease the flow of traffic in Windham. The first is to take what's already there on Route 302, install more signage, and change what some lanes are used for, be it turning, driving straight through, or lanes that allow both. If you ask me, signs are easily ignored. Changing what lanes are used for might have an effect, but it's not easy to keep traffic moving without reducing the traffic on the road.
The second option is to build two roads on each side of Route 302 to act as bypasses for the locals. This sounds like a good idea to me, but tourists would be just as likely to use the bypasses as well. Still, if you have three roads taking you to the same place, traffic should flow better.
I think the third option is the best as it combines the two. Have your bypasses but connect them at various points along the way, to reach the different parts of the strip you want to get to. North Conway did something similar when they built North-South Road, a three-mile bypass of their shopping area that has several connecting streets to 302.
Windham Wants Resident's Input
The Town of Windham will hold a community forum on May 13 to ask what Windham residents think is the best idea. Whichever is chosen, I hope they do it soon, because those of us that drive this area on a nearly daily basis would love to see traffic flow better than it has for the past decade.