Lighthouse area parking limits eyed

TREMONT — Last year, neighbors of Bass Harbor Head Light asked the town to prohibit parking on Lighthouse Road, saying vehicles parked on the sides of the road made it difficult for them to enter and exit their own property. With support from Acadia National Park officials, ‘No Parking’ signs were posted along Lighthouse Road before the start of the 2019 season.

Once that went into effect, visitors chose to park on Harbor Drive along the entrance to the road leading to the lighthouse, causing concerns for traffic safety. Now, residents are asking for no parking signs in that area of Harbor Drive.

Posting no parking signs along Harbor Drive, a state-aid highway, is a different process than that for putting signs up on Lighthouse Road. At their Dec. 16 meeting, selectmen unanimously approved having Town Manager Chris Saunders draft changes to the Traffic Control and Parking Ordinance regarding parking on Harbor Drive in the area of Bass Harbor Head Light.

Those proposed changes will then need to be approved by the Board of Selectmen before being submitted to the Maine DOT for approval.

If the state agency does not approve the change, selectmen would need to change the local ordinance again, back to the original wording.

Selectmen discussed the option of having buses bring visitors in to the site to avoid parking congestion. But they agreed they weren’t sure a bus could make it down to the parking lot and turn around safely.

“Right now, fire trucks can’t even get down there,” said Selectman McKenzie Jewett.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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