BAR HARBOR — Proposed changes to public parking spaces and traffic flow on Federal and Kennebec streets were approved by the Town Council Tuesday and head next to a public hearing on May 15.
This action came after an April 13 memo from Bar Harbor Police Chief Jim Willis suggested eliminating one space on Kennebec Street and making it a southbound one-way street so Atlantic Brewing Midtown, at 52 Cottage St., could have improved access to the company’s loading dock and driveway.
Currently, because part of the street is two-way, cars legally parked on Kennebec Street can block access to the loading dock, according to Willis’ memo.
Atlantic Brewing’s development and operations manager Alex Maffucci appeared before the Parking and Traffic Committee on April 4 suggesting the changes, spurring Willis to write his memo.
Councilor Matt Hochman said he supported the changes, but was worried about large delivery trucks using the one-way street.
“My only concern was making sure those big trucks are not, number one, going up Kennebec Street and disturbing the residents, and number two, that corner at the top can be a nightmare,” Hochman said.
Lt. David Kerns said the loading dock for Atlantic Midtown is only used for small delivery trucks. Large-scale deliveries to nearby businesses would be accessed via Cottage Street.
Not many large trucks use the street, Maffucci said. Since Atlantic Midtown opened last year, he said, only the smaller trucks that service the business and fuel trucks headed to houses have been using the street.
Paul Paradis said the traffic changes could affect development at the empty lot at 58 Cottage St., but the council could revisit these changes if that happens.
Councilors also changed a handicapped parking spot, effective immediately, at 17 Kennebec St. to an unrestricted public parking spot, effectively replacing the space lost with the changes to Kennebec Street. It was once used for a handicapped resident who is deceased, according to Town Clerk Pat Gray.
Willis’ memo also suggested clarifying ordinances to allow parking on the “left side of Federal Street … between the former Rainwise building and along Barker Park.” Parking was previously allowed there, according to Willis, but the ordinance was not clear.
Traffic changes require amendments to town ordinances, which require public hearings. Last July, stop signs were installed at the intersection of Park Street and Ledgelawn Avenue but were taken down the next day because a public hearing on the change had not yet been held. The changes eventually were approved.