Comments for: Ellsworth seeks tweaks to reduce confusion on street

Posted Sept. 04, 2012, at 2:16 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 04, 2012, at 9:45 p.m.

ELLSWORTH | Nearly four years after a huge reconstruction project rerouted traffic at the “Ellsworth Triangle,” the city is looking to erase confusion and make for easier traffic flows on one of the most affected streets. Since the re-engineering project was finished in September 2008, northbound traffic from Trenton …

CORRECTION:

A previous headline on this story erroneously referred to the Ellsworth Triangle as being downtown.

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  • Anonymous

    I hope the City sends the bill to Wallyworld, who instigated changing the traffic pattern in the first place!

    • Anonymous

      The engineering firm who designed it should pay. 

    • Jeff Campbell

       walmart had nothing to do with it chuck! maybe before you spout your garbage you should gather some facts!

      • Anonymous

         Pretty sure walmart paid for the study and design.

      • Anonymous

        In fact, Wally had to get DOT approval before they could build the stuper-store.  Wally refused to pony up the cash needed to do the “improvements”, so the City of Ellsworth paid for the work to the tune of $2,000,000 just to get W to agree to build.  And to lock in the deal, the City re-routed the road to one-way so that traffic coming from the Island would have to drive past the new entrance. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s not that complicated. Read the signs, follow the arrows on the road, and PAY ATTENTION! My biggest pet peeve about it is the people who fail to read the “Stay in your lane’ sign, and YIELD where they shouldn’t when following the road from Rt. 3 to Myrick.

    • Anonymous

      yes!!!  

    • Anonymous

       Agreed. Its really not that hard. The arrows on the ground mean something…people should pay attention to them.

      • Anonymous

        The arrows on the ground are often covered up by cars.

    • Anonymous

      Part of the problem is if you stay in the lane you end up in the wrong lane. Just a few feet further down they all become left or right turn only. If you’re passing through you eventually have to get over left or right at the Rte 1 intersection. If you stay in the right lane as you turn right onto Myrick coming from the island, it almost immediately becomes a right turn only lane, so if you’re not going to Walmart you have to change lanes.

      • Anonymous

         But, you don’t have to slam your brakes on at the turn, and wait for all the cars to pass. There is ample time to change lanes.

        • Anonymous

          I disagree. I have to use that road at least twice a week. It’s a busy road and it is very difficult to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with it. That’s what the article is about.

          • Anonymous

             I drive from MDI to Bangor 4 days a week, and have business in Ellsworth the other days. I use it multiple times a day. It’s NOT HARD.

          • Anonymous

            The key word here is “familiar.”

          • Anonymous

             Roads should not be designed for the ease of tourists. That’s what maps, signs, and arrows are for.

          • Anonymous

            So the maps, signs and arrows are for the tourists and the lines and lights are for locals? I had no idea…but neither are well done on Myrick. I use that stretch of road daily as well, and every day I marvel at the fact that nobody has been killed there yet. Its design is utterly bewildering, as the article describes.

          • Anonymous

             Its a mess, I don’t care how many times a week you supposedly drive it. I live here, and I watch accidents there weekly- never mind near misses. Someone is going to get really hurt if this isn’t changed.

        • Anonymous

           I disagree. When coming from Bar Harbor there is not enough time or distance to change lanes and if there is any traffic at all you get “boxed” into the Walmart lane. Once that has happened a few times you learn to get in the lane you need as soon as you can. The only other option would be to come to a  stop in the Walmart lane  and signal from that lane, which is not a safe practice.

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree. But after four years it is still a daily frig. You have to really watch all of the other drivers because of all of the unprompted stopping, random lane changing and strangely aligned traffic lights at the WalMart intersection. Defensive driving has saved me from at least 10 accidents on that stretch. The newish section of Rte. 1 from Myrick St. to the triangle isn’t much better. I see lots of people turn left from the left travel lane without even using the dedicated turning lane. I try to imagine how confused I might be if I were passing through for the first time but some people are just clueless drivers.

    • Anonymous

      Here’s a problem that prohibits ‘staying in you lane” (question is which lane is mine?–turning left on Myrick going up Beckwith Hill and then immediately right to go to the Mini-mall where Camden National is.  If cars are turning right onto Myrick, you have to slow down or stop and the cars behind you don’t expect you to stop.  This and the fiasco in the Maine Coast Mall Shopping Center are terrible.

      • Anonymous

         So, continue down to the light by Walmart, and use the access road to get to Camden National if you can’t get over right away. There, problem solved!

        • Anonymous

          Yes, that will work.  Good idea.  OR, I could continue all the way to Route 1, take a right and go to Route 184, then to Lamoine and take the Buttermilk Road back to Route 3.  Take a right and then another right at the light by the Mini-Mall.  BOOM, I’m there. 

          OR, maybe a “Yield” sign on Route 3 from Bar Harbor at the light.  Naw!  That would be too easy.

          • Anonymous

            so you want to slow thousands of cars down to make the life easier for a small handful that want to turn into that little strip mall (which is in a terrible location)?

          • Anonymous

            “Thousands” of cars??  Really?  Well, at least as many as would fit in that area from the previous light at the Buttermilk Road. 

            Apparently you haven’t heard of “tongue-in-cheek”. 

      • Anonymous

        Yes, and if your exiting the mini-mall you have to go all the way around.

  • jdtex

    Do I detect a bit of elitism from Ms. Beal?   “Ellsworth City Manager Michelle Beal said the city knew in 2008 that people wouldn’t immediately appreciate the more complicated Myrick Street”.    Perhaps the mere underclass does not have the same capacity to ‘appreciate’. 

    • BillDaButler

      I think you are reading too much into this jdex, most of us locals thought the same thing.  Tourists don’t get it at all, and in the winter several spots are left completely unplowed. 

    • Anonymous

      Seems to me you are taking offense over nothing.  Get a grip.

  • Matthew Strong

    Totally agree with the assessment, the road is a mess and needs some work.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I don’t have a problem with it but I tend to go around it because a lot of people do have issues with it. I make a left on Beechland drive and turn right onto Bayside road which will dump you back onto Route 1 and while it might take a tad longer your chances of getting hit go way down.

    • Anonymous

      You do that to take Rte 1 downeast?

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        When I’m heading back towards Bangor from MDI I go that route. If I’m heading downeast from MDI I take other back roads to avoid it.

  • Nick Sarro

    I like driving on that street!  Its like going to an amusement park with out having to pay for anything with a slightly higher chance of death 

  • Anonymous

    So many drivers have problems with two lane straight roads. Even more can’t figure out how to use a well marked turning lane. You can’t fix inattentive and distracted drivers. Now that the rest of us that have learned how to drive that road are well equipped, go ahead and change it again. We love a challenge, it keeps us awake and attentive.

  • Downeasta

    Oh what the heck.  Lets confuse everyone and just tell them you cant get there from here.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Michelle Beal- ‘ bout time! I live here and cant figure out what to do in this darn town. Myrick Street is a nightmare. How about starting with having people driving from the Island actually STOP at the intersection?  It was honestly better with the two way lanes…..this is pathetic!

    • Anonymous

      They already do stop for no reason. That’s half the problem.

      • Anonymous

        Bingo.

    • Anonymous

      They should have to stop in both directions. People coming from the island are making a right turn, which usually gives drivers the right of way. (They don’t all live on the island.)

      • Anonymous

         The road is 2 lanes, coming from different directions, to sit side by side on the same road. As long as everyone STAYS IN THEIR LANE, nobody has to stop. Again, it’s NOT DIFFICULT!!

        • Anonymous

          Jemileesmom you seem to be trying to make the argument that the road doesn’t need to be fixed. As far as I know, new roads are supposed to be designed for safety and ease of traffic flow. Whether the people driving it are tourists shouldn’t have much to do with it, but of course the businesses along the road would like to be able to take advantage of the tourist trade.

          • Anonymous

            we could also put a traffic cop there and have them tell each car when it is safe to go.  Having people stop for no reason (because people are too stupid to follow signs) is excessive.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with you. Some people here are actually thinking this road is okay- when it obviously is not! We shouldn’t have to be ” jumping lanes”  “trying to rush to the next light” or even sitting at a light forever. Please, please fix this mess. 

      • Anonymous

        no!!!  having people stop for no reason just backs up the heavy summer traffic and slows down traffic.  If people followed the traffic rules, then there is no reason to have people stopping, especially from both directions.

    • Anonymous

      You are not supposed to stop at that intersection. You are supposed to merge with any traffic AFTER the sloid white line. No one gets it….do you.

      • Anonymous

        yea I get it. You are ” suppose to merge with any traffic after the solid white line” OK- genius- what if I wanted to go to Camden Bank or to Wal Mart? There’s not enough time if the idiots don’t yield and let me cross lanes. Who ever designed this compete cluster needs to go back to the drawing board!

        • Anonymous

          Go to the light? It is anothe roption.

          • Exactly what I was going to say – I try my best to get over and get turned in, but if it doesn’t happen, I go to the light and go in that way.

  • Anonymous

    That isn’t downtown Ellsworth.   Downtown Ellsworth is the area near City Hall, The Grand, The Maine Grind, etc.

    That being said it is poorly designed, but the big problem is the number of clueless drivers.  my biggest problem is people coming from high street and people coming from bar harbor don’t know what the solid white line means as you have a lane from each direction turning onto Myrick street and meeting with a solid white line dividing them (it means stay in lane,  neither side has to “yield”, yet people stop to let other drivers merge left or merge right before they go). drivers are not supposed to stop, but are supposed to continue on and, if necessary, change lanes when the white line turnes dashed.

    • Anonymous

      In my opinion, more than 50% of the people on the road should not be driving.

      • Anonymous

        Then you should be a big supporter of public transportation.
        “A billion dollars invested in mass transit produces 7,000 more U.S. jobs than does the same amount spent on road construction.” –Asphalt Nation, Jane Holtz Kay, 1997 Crown Press.

        • Anonymous

          How do you get that idea?  That cool aid must be good stuff.

          • Anonymous

            This is typical. You complain about a problem, then dismiss the most sensible, cost-effective solution without addressing its merits. There’s no reasoning with some people.
             

          • Anonymous

            Spending hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars solves every idea?  You are right, I am not reasonable.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t get me started.  Reminds me of the ‘merge’ issue.  There is a yield sign at the end of an entrance ramp for a reason.  Almost got side swiped by a truck entering the other day on 395.  The person on my right did not slow or speed up and I was stuck in the slow lane with  vehicle behind me and this guy barreling down the ramp and just ‘sailing’ straight into traffic.  It is not the traffic already flowing that needs to yield, it’s the person entering. 

    • You’re right about Myrick Street not being downtown Ellsworth. Fixing it as we speak. Thanks! 

    • Anonymous

      So I’m not the only one to notice this. They also need to put the light at Home Depot on a sensor not a timer. You sit there with no traffic coming for way too long. 

  • Anonymous

    The biggest problem is that these rocket scientists didn’t straighten Myrick street back out any when they widened it for this new purpose.

    Back in the day Myrick was a straight road, but being a side road it was abused as a drag strip. The solution then was to give it some twists and turns. Fast forward to 2008 and they kept every single twist and turn when they widened the road, when there is no good reason for the road not to be straight!

    I do hope they simplify things a bit. There are turn lanes that go into vacant lots that was to be the grand “Acadia Crossing” shopping complex, those hopes were put on hold when the global economy collapsed, but the infrastructure remains… 

    …do we really need TWO lanes to turn left into Home Depot?

  • Anonymous

    Careful about turning to the DOT for help.  Their current favorite solution is to install a rotary/”traffic circle”.  Disgusta is slated to get two more as part of the reconfiguration of Route 3/I-95 Exit 113 to connect it to the new hospital and Rt. 27.

    • Anonymous

      round-abouts are great!  Having driven in rural england, I really appreciated the sparsity of 3 or 4-way intersections with traffic lights

    • Anonymous

      Traffic circles are great!  The problem is the idiots who don’t understand how to use them

      • Anonymous

         Yes, and that’s the problem.  Too many tourists who don’t understand’em.  And knowing the DOT, they’ll be multiply lane nightmares like the current two in Disgusta.  They work great if kept to a single lane.

  • I don’t like turning left at the top of the hill towards walmart, the traffic from route 3 always tries to cut you off by the bank…. Not a very safe traffic flow.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think they are “trying to cut you off”. I think they are just too clueless and inattentive to realize that they are changing lanes. 

    • Anonymous

      It’s not safe because neither side is instructed to stop or yield when making the turn. In the old days the person in the left lane was supposed to yield, but in this instance it seems both sides think they have the right of way.

      • Anonymous

         Each side DOES have the right of way, IN THEIR OWN LANE!

        • Anonymous

           blah blah blah
            how about trying to get across to Wal Mart when you come from Beckwith Hill.???  Impossible. It’s a mess, no doubt.

          • There are 2 separate entrances to Wal-Mart on Myrick St- even if I can’t hit the first entrance due to traffic, I can always get over to take a right at the lights if need be…. that works as well…

      • Anonymous

        That is because there are TWO lanes.  Each car does not have to yield IF THEY STAY IN THEIR LANE.  There is a solid white line, which means cares should stay in their lane.  When the line turns dashed, they may change lanes if required.

        • Anonymous

          The problem is if you are coming from the island and turn right onto that road, then you are forced into a right turn only lane. Try it sometime.

          • Anonymous

             HonkytonkBob is correct. You cannot “stay in your lane” without ending up in Walmart. You are forced to cross over in order to get to the lane that bypasses Walmart; and then when you get to the signal light, it is not aligned with the lane.

          • Anonymous

            you can change lanes AFTER the solid white line turns dashed.  The problem is people cutting each other off as they turn onto the street. (and then people not having a clue which lane they should be in). I’ve never had a problem knowing what lane I should be in on this road, but I have the advantage of knowing which lane I’m going to need to by the time I reach the intersection with route 1

          • Anonymous

            I turn right onto this road all the time.  I know that I can’t cut off drivers turning left,  and I know that they can’t cut me off if they want to go to wallmart (although I am usually prepared for them to do so).  I know that I will have to change lanes shortly after making the turn.

  • Anonymous

    This town badly needs a bypass, it is a bigger mess than Wiscasset. Also, this will come as a surprise to Ellsworth business owners, that more people will stop in the community if it were less congested. Check out what happened in Damariscotta and Belfast when they built bypasses many years ago. Not everyone is headed to Ellsworth, it’s just a mess to get through.

    • Anonymous

      unfortunately it is too late.  Too much development and land subdivision would make acquiring the right of way too costly now.   They should have built the bypass 50 years ago.

      • Anonymous

        But in 2012 the smart move would be to invest in a public transportation infrastructure for those just passing through, alleviating traffic for local people on local business. It’s a win-win.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a simple, simple solution. Put traffic back to 2 way travel down over the hill.  Doesn’t really curb the congestion, but removes the confusion.  Or what I’m reading suggests that confusion creates congestion?  Bad design to begin with.  Probably cheaper to add travel lanes for 2 way flow down the hill, but they’ll do whatever it takes to do it the most expensive and non-useful way in order to impress a few tourists.

  • Anonymous

    The only confusion I have is:  There’s a ‘downtown’ Ellsworth?

    • Anonymous

      yes,  and it is much nicer than the disaster that is High Street. 

  • Anonymous

    If you don’t get it right the first time, try again!  

  • Anonymous

    This area is not downtown Ellsworth. Myrick
    Street should have been straight when first built.
    The intersection of Myrick, Rt.3, should have been and be made a four way stop
    with extended turning lanes from both directions. The traffic should be again
    made two ways with double lanes up and down the hill with turning lanes for
    businesses. The alternate route to M.D.I through big box land should be
    clearly labeled as Rt.1, and its intersection with Myrick should be
    another four way stop with turning lanes. The publicly made excuse for this
    mess was moving traffic more smoothly while eliminating the frequent accidents
    on High Street. I thought about this argument several times while sitting in
    backed up traffic down by Pizza Hut this summer. Along with the accidents on Myrick
    Street, this pattern has decreased and destroyed
    businesses from McDonald’s up over the hill, and created a race track for those
    hoping to be first in the never ending traffic to the light at the top heading
    towards the island.  All for the sake of what…two big box stores, which
    those seeking will find if they desire.

    • You’re right about Myrick Street not being downtown Ellsworth. Fixing it as we speak. Thanks!

    • Talk to any local restaurant/business people and a lot of them will say that what used to be The Hilltop House (most recently Hillfire) was “cursed” the day the traffic went 1 way up over Beckwith Hill and that is why any restaurant has stayed trouble staying in that location since… FWIW.

  • I worked in Ellsworth when this started taking place and I have no issue with it being one way. I have seen cars go the wrong way before though and it is rather scary. I do not know why people cant just get it that it is a one way! Really not that hard to understand :)

  • Anonymous

    The accompanying graphic/map could be more clear–is that the before or after?

  • Jeff Campbell

    You don’t have to be an Engineering major to know this road was designed very very poorly! and that curve from high street to the home depot light makes no sense at all, it’s not needed and way too sharp a turn.

  • Anonymous

    Any reasonably intelligent six year old, looking at the engineering plans for Myrick Street, could have told the city and the D.O.T. what would happen. And of course, it has happened.  A royal mess. Its time for a complete re-think of traffic flow in the Route 1, Route 3, Myrick Street area. The status quo will eventually result in traffic fatalities. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.

  • Anonymous

    maybe a traffic circle would have been less confusing, just keep going around till you get it right.  It is so much worse in the winter with no lines.  Actually, most people do not understand what a solid line means.  Sure it could use so improvements, also should have been a traffic circle at the head of MDI

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t understand when you turn left into Walmart (Home Depot on the right) that there are the two lanes that instantly turn into one on a sharp curve.  Always getting cut off…….Who has the right of way in that situation??

  • Anonymous

    Anothe rproblem is the signage near Walgreens. One sign directs cars to the left lane for US 1 and right lane for Rte 3. There are two lanes to get you up the hill on Rte 3. Tourist think there in the wrong lane and jam up traffic in that area. Direct them to the right lane further up the road.

  • Scott

    I’ve driven in this area once since the new traffic pattern started and the only problem I had was some impatient dolt changing lanes and passing me illegally in an intersection.

  • Anonymous

    Myrick Street and turning Rt. 3 into a one way road was done only to accomodate the “Big Box” stores.  Instead, it has hurt local businesses.  The “if you build it, they will come” mentality backfired this time. Instead we have the old Darling’s building in disrepair, empty buildings, Lowe’s is gone as is Hillfire (there was access to these from both ways but people didn’t realize it) and nothing has happened on the hill.  Also, huge amounts of traffic now go through the residential areas of Beechland and Bayside only to converge onto Water Street with incredibly long lines of traffic.  It didn’t work.  Plain and simple.

  • Anonymous

    I’m suprised the State didnt put a rotary there! With them if its not a rotary its an island.

  • Anonymous

    Up until 10 -15 years ago Myrick Street didn’t exist….The triangle was where Rte 1 & 3 met.  Wish the reporters knew what they were talking about before publishing!!!

  • Anonymous

    Michelle Beal says the road is “overengineered.” That implies that somehow too much thought had gone into its design. Clearly that’s not the case. It isn’t overengineered…it’s badly engineered! What really gets me is that Beal…who btw was the city planner at the time this project was designed and permitted, and thus bears some of the responsibility for its flaws… seems to just not understand how bad the design is, like somehow the fault lies with the drivers who “just can’t get used to it.” First of all, no matter what anyone might think of them, tourists represent a big chunk of the traffic on that stretch of road, and their opportunity to “get used to it” is pretty limited. Those of us who use that stretch daily get to have a new, harrowing adventure with all those understandably confused Myrick newbies every time, which is a lot to ask us to “get used to.”  Any road needs good visibility, a predictable layout and well-placed signage to be safe for all drivers, whether they’re “used to it” or not. Myrick could have been designed with those principles in mind to begin with, and now I’m guessing we’re going to be stuck spending a lot of money to half-correct obvious, amateurish mistakes that could have been easily avoided in the design phase. 

  • When Myrick Street was finished anyone with any common sense knew it was a mess and the last thing Ellsworth needs is another traffic light!!! Why have 2 lanes into Home Depot? How many times have you come up the hill to the light and traffic is backed up down the hill only to reveal that the two lanes are not being used …then the light changes after 4-5 cares make it through. Great Engineering!!! What a waste of the Taxpayers money when they designed that.. and last but not least FIX the timers on the damn traffic lights so your not waitng for the invisible traffic!!!! 

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