ARUNDEL — There was much debate regarding potentially allowing parking on Limerick Road for the Eastern Trail at the Board of Selectmen meeting held on Tuesday, May 29.
Catherine Rush, an Arundel resident, was first to voice her concerns, questioning whether any measures have been made to make sure children and families parking on Limerick Road, and inevitably stepping onto the road, will be protected.
Sam Rush, Catherine’s husband, also voiced his concerns about the parking proposal and called it a “poor idea.”
“I don’t think there is safe access for parking on Limerick Road,” Rush explained.
Resident John Bell disagreed, saying he doesn’t see the harm in allowing at least a temporary parking option for residents who want to use the trail.
Dan Dubois, Arundel resident and member of the Planning Board, agreed with Bell and said it’s safer to park at the trail than have people park at M.L. Day School or the Town Hall and walk down the busy road.
Tad Redway, Arundel Town Planner, proposed the idea of increased signage to warn drivers of bikers and pedestrians.
“We wouldn’t just do parallel parking without looking into options,” Redway assured the Board of Selectmen and residents.
It was also explained that, with the exception of four or five spaces at the end of Mountain Road, this would be the first example of parallel parking in Arundel.
Selectman Dana Peck voiced his concerns with making this the “town’s issue” because ultimately it will be decided by the Board of Selectmen, rather than Arundel voters, whether parking will be permitted on Limerick Road.
Peck said this issue has become a “thorn in our side” and he was concerned about making the right decision for the safety and benefit of all residents, both users and non-users of the trail.
Selectman Phil Labbe, owner of Labbe Excavating, said this issue is one that’s very important to him because of the often dangerous situations in that area.
Labbe said just this past week one of his trucks weighing 50-60,000 pounds was driving down Limerick Road and a woman with two children came off the trail and began to walk across the road without looking.
Labbe said the driver slammed on his horn and they backed up but it was a dangerous situation and those who use the trail need to “look and respect traffic,” even at crosswalks.
Vice Chairman Mark Paulin said he wanted to wait on a vote to make sure allowing parking on Limerick Road wouldn’t interfere with abutting properties such as Rush’s home.
“He’s owed that,” Paulin said, agreeing that drafting a plan might be in everyone’s best interest before moving forward.
Selectman Tom Danylik agreed.
“We’re premature with this,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m looking at. I don’t know what space is available. I think we’re jumping the gun a little.”
The board voted 3-1 to table the discussion until further research can be presented at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.
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