ROCKPORT, Maine — The Rockport Planning Board took no action Wednesday on a proposal for a seven-bed hospice house on the grounds of Pen Bay Medical Center after the town’s police chief raised concerns about traffic patterns.
The proposal is expected to return to the board in May .
Police Chief Mark Kelley said Thursday he would like to see some changes in the design of the roads leading to the hospice.
One concern is the location of the main road that would lead to the hospice would be located off the single, two-lane driveway that leads from Route 1 to the remainder of the Pen Bay campus, including the hospital. Kelley said the hospice road is too close to Route 1 and that it could lead to traffic backup that would make it difficult for ambulances to get by if someone was trying to make a left onto the hospice road.
He also had concerns about a second road proposed that would lead directly off Route 1. The road is proposed to be used for vehicles during construction of the hospice and then would only be used as an emergency alternate exit if there was a problem at the main hospital road off Route 1.
Kelly said that the hospital plans to erect a gate to prevent the road from being used regularly after the hospice has opened but that the gate is located too far off the road. He said motorists may pull onto the road and then have to make a turn back onto busy Route 1.
Kelly also said he does not believe the 19 proposed parking spaces for the hospice are adequate.
The plan calls for a seven-bed, 12,000-foot building. The design would allow for the addition of 5,000 more square feet to serve an additional seven patients at a future date.