A new traffic pattern for Village Green Way in Southwest Harbor is intended to eliminate the need for trucks to back into or out of delivery spaces. TOWN OF SOUTHWEST HARBOR IMAGE

Traffic pattern adjusted after pedestrian death

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Town officials are updating the traffic pattern for delivery trucks on Village Green Way in response to a fatal accident that took place there last week.

On the morning of July 16, Charlotte Rich, 89, of Southwest Harbor was struck by a tractor trailer truck driven by Delbert Horton, 56, of Bangor. When the accident happened, Horton was pulling the truck onto Village Green Way from a delivery area behind Sawyer’s market.

Rich was taken in a LifeFlight helicopter ambulance to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center where she died from her injuries, according to reports. Assisted by state, county and neighboring law enforcement agencies, the Southwest Harbor Police Department is still investigating the accident.

In the new, single direction traffic pattern approved by selectmen Tuesday, truck drivers will enter Village Green Way next to Bar Harbor Bank and Trust, turn left at the stop sign in front of the library and park along the east side of the parking lot in front of the police station, facing the pubic restroom building.

Upon completing a delivery, trucks will proceed to the south end of that parking lot, loop around in front of the police station and exit back out Village Green Way the same way they came onto it.

“Signage should indicate that all delivery vehicles must utilize designated lanes and shall not back into other spaces,” Town Manager Justin VanDongen wrote in a memo to selectmen.

The change will require an update to the town’s parking and traffic ordinance and will eventually mean that near the police station will need to be shifted.

“I’ve thought for a long time it would be great to have this be one way,” said Selectman Kristin Hutchins. “I think it’s a great idea.”

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

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