My wife and I moved to Windham years ago because of its rural feel while having some shopping amenities at the same time. What we didn’t realize was the uncontrolled growth of the North Windham area coupled with the amount of increased traffic traveling through Windham to other areas of the Lakes Region. Yes, I am happy Windham has the stores I need but getting to them is now becoming a nightmare on some days.
What worries me the most is that more and more drivers either have no clue or just don’t care so they don’t obey stop signs, yield signs or traffic lights. I wonder where the intelligence is at the Maine Department of Transportation when it comes to installing traffic circles, rotaries or circles of stupidity. It’s that or many drivers are either blind or just can’t read the signs that tell them to stop or yield to other vehicles. Just sit a while at the rotary located where routes 302 and 202 meet and you will see plenty of examples of what I mean.
When it comes to traffic lights, there are some drivers that are either color blind, experiencing a day dream or are just totally unconscious when they are driving. There are others, especially those coming out of Westbrook on the River Road, who must think that when they are 200 feet from Route 202 and see the traffic light turning red that they can still make it through the light if they speed up to 60 mph. Of course, there’s the River Road itself since the skim coat of asphalt was laid down, which has greatly increased the speed of vehicles. It’s bad enough to see cars doing twice the speed limit where it’s 30 mph but one can also witness many dump trucks, fuel trucks, tractor-trailers and even school buses doing the same.
That same traffic light at Route 202 and River Road is where I witnessed such a driver, either pressed for time or rushing to his own funeral. This guy, in his little black car, came up from Westbrook, noticed the traffic light in front of him was red so he made a right turn on red without stopping, made an immediate left-turn into the old Martino’s parking lot and then a right turn to continue north on the River Road. Not a bad move, albeit illegal, made even better by the fact he never stopped. I have also seen drivers doing the same at the junction of Route 202 and Windham Center Road. I watch where I park at either store located on those corners and just wonder when someone, especially a Windham student, will be run over.
I know when the heavy traffic times are and where the most dangerous intersections are and will avoid them when possible. I really hate to admit it but I really do enjoy watching the idiots that will do anything possible, even illegal, to get ahead of the vehicle in front of them only to be side-by-side at the next traffic light, especially in North Windham. Many of those drivers are the same ones running traffic lights and signs as well.
Perhaps the worst offenders are the drivers who tailgate and speed they are traveling at makes no difference. I have had cars so close to me that I can only see part of their windshield and roof. Then they pass in an illegal area. Too bad it’s illegal to drop a spike mat under their front end.
It is interesting to see that some in Windham have enough money to leave the rubber of their tires on roads all over our town. Now, I have no idea if that helps lengthen the life of the asphalt but it surely improves tire sales. Stupidity, I guess you could conclude, helps the local economy. Well, that’s a stretch because it more than likely decreases the wealth of some parents. Glad that I never did that (wink, wink).
Lane Hiltunen, of Windham, wants you to visit www.nosewer.com, which is about the proposed sewer project in Windham.