It appears we make questionable decisions in Westbrook. As events unfold, we are seeing that closing off Saco Street and forcing traffic down Mechanic Street was a huge mistake. Now that Metro has all but taken ownership of that portion of Mechanic Street, traffic lines up behind buses picking up passengers before turning onto Main Street. We aren’t sure whether to go around or wait because the bus might move. We wouldn’t let a lunch van park at the Mechanic Street fire barn because too many people would be crossing the street that we just forced Saco Street traffic on to.
Suggestion: Park in the city lot and watch where Metro passengers go after exiting the bus. They scatter in different directions heading to their destinations. Now we are told that Discover Downtown Westbrook might want to use that building or Metro might want to or it could possibly become an art gallery. All should be told, “Sorry, but no.” We cannot have people crossing that section of street all the time and besides it needs a roof and furnace. The city of Westbrook is not in the real estate business and we cannot afford to pour money into that building. Sell it for a bit of property tax relief money.
Finally, when will Westbrook taxpayers see a list of how many riders are using each Metro bus route? After all, this is costing us $774,449 for 2019 and the passengers still have to pay to ride. It only seems fair that we see these numbers and feel assured we are getting enough bang for our buck since the council passed this cost on to us with little discussion.
One last request: How about a zero increase budget this year? Westbrook can’t afford any more.