Acadia, Bar Harbor ‘mutually dependent’

BAR HARBOR — Town and Acadia National Park officials agreed they will need to work together to address challenges stemming from the large numbers of visitors here when they discussed Acadia’s draft transportation plan at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

“We need to develop a methodology to work together,” said council Chair Paul Paradis. “I am interested in where we can work together to help solve our mutual problems, because there’s a lot of them.”

If Acadia moves to limit access to areas of the park by personal vehicles, those vehicles likely will be parked in one of the island’s towns, councilors said.

John Kelly serves as an official representative of Acadia on the town’s Cruise Ship Committee and Parking Solutions Task Force.

“We recognize that there’s a mutual dependence here,” said Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “I’m open to trading ideas with a liaison for the town.”

Acadia is seeking feedback on preliminary concepts in its transportation plan through Nov. 30. The next steps, Schneider said, will be a draft environmental impact statement expected around this time next year. That stage will include numbers and cost estimates.

Town Manager Cornell Knight asked whether a final decision on the transportation plan, expected in 2018, would be made by local officials. Schneider said he will make a recommendation to the regional director of the National Park Service, who will make final decisions.

At the meeting, councilors also approved two new curb cuts as requested by property owners and recommended by the Parking and Traffic Committee. Each would eliminate one on-street parking space and create at least one new off-street parking spot. The curb cuts are at 12 Livingston Road and 29 Ledgelawn Ave.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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