We asked, and you answered. More than 200 Bangor Daily News readers responded to our query about the worst intersections in Maine, sharing a litany of horror stories, gripes and cautionary tales about driving in nearly every corner of the state.
We’ve collected the most descriptive and informative stories below, though this list is, of course, far from comprehensive. As we stated in our first story, some of this is subjective — as much about intersections being annoying as they are dangerous. Though there certainly are plenty of dangerous ones listed as well.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
In my opinion the traffic at the light and subsequent merge area at the head of Mount Desert Island is the absolute worst. The design of the intersection itself is simply faulty. The roads in both directions go from one lane, to two lanes for a couple hundred yards, and then require a merger. I’m surprised that there haven’t been more active road rage incidents there because of people passing to gain a few yards, and then trying to merge back into traffic.
Southbound travelers on Route 193 in Cherryfield routinely take their lives in their hands at the downtown intersection with Route 1, as the view of oncoming traffic is obscured from both directions. A commercial building and the Route 1 bridge railing hide eastbound traffic, while a DOT sign neatly blocks westbound traffic coming down the hill into Cherryfield. Despite heavy usage by industrial as well as passenger vehicles, the only traffic control at this intersection is a flashing stop/slow light indicating that the oncoming, invisible traffic on Route 1 does not stop.
Market Square in South Paris, especially on weekends in the winter with Sunday River traffic on Route 26. Too many people trying to beat the traffic and get ahead.
Intersection of Route 11 and Route 163 in Ashland. Both southbound Route 11 and the lane turning to south Route 11 from 163 west have the right of way. Only northbound Route 11 has to stop. Not a great idea.
Route 2/139 in Norridgewock. The current traffic pattern features a stop sign on Route 139/Waterville Road, the most heavily traveled road into Norridgewock, and no stop sign on Route 2/Skowhegan Road. Route 139 comes straight into the intersection, while Route 2 comes into the intersection on a 90 degree angle, yet the stop sign is placed on 139. This intersection needs a traffic signal, badly.
The intersection at the top of Miller Hill in Hermon. There were so many accidents that Maine DOT recently rebuilt the lanes. However, just last month a motorcyclist was killed there. There’s also been one or two more accidents since the rebuild.
Union Street and North Main in Brewer. The steep drop-off leading to “downtown” Brewer is treacherous when icy, and there’s a number of large trucks coming from Route 9. The two turn lanes from Union to make a left onto North Main create a snarl when someone wants to turn into the Irving station. The signal light should be recalibrated to match the traffic there.
Downtown Camden, at the intersection of Route 1, Bayview Street, Mechanic Street and the public landing. No lights at a five-way intersection. It’s terrible.
Mills Road, Academy Hill, and Maine Street/1A in Newcastle all intersect to make a confusing, questionable right of way. It’s a road of constant strife.
My vote is Forest Avenue in Portland — all of it. Poorly designed, inadequately signed, multiple railway crossings and with multiple entries in the top-five accident locations in Portland. There’s a big hole (storm drain) in one lane that has been there for 25 years.
CanAmSteve, BDN commenter
Coming off 295 onto Marginal Way in Portland. I believe they changed it a few years ago by adding another light, and now when you get off (coming from either direction) the traffic gets so backed up because of that light that even when you have a green light, you can’t go because the intersection is full of cars. I think it’s most aggravating because it used to work better and ever since they changed it, it’s gotten so much worse. You sit there through a whole green cycle when you should be able to go, but you can’t move.
Gray Center. I’m from Massachusetts and am used to chaotic intersections, but this by far takes the cake. I work close by and constantly hear co-workers’ complaints. People don’t know what lane to choose. No one in town wants their kids crossing here. There are 6 points of entry and when rush hour begins (thanks to people using Route 100 to avoid the highway toll) one wishes for a traffic cop with an old time whistle.
The main entrance at Husson University. I could sit there all day and watch people not understand who has the right of way.
1A and 179/Shore Road in Ellsworth. It is such a dangerous intersection! You either wait forever for a break in traffic, or close your eyes, floor it, and pray you make it through. So many accidents have occurred there. It desperately needs a light!