Westbrook, Maine Police Clarify Questions About New Cumberland Mills Traffic Lights
After over a decade of planning, the Maine DOT has finished installing and has activated traffic lights at every intersection in what is called the Cumberland Mills Triangle. For years it has been a little like a rotary and as more and more drivers commute into Portland from their homes in the much less expensive suburbs, the amount of traffic at the triangle has continued to increase.
The triangle is where Main Street, Cumberland Street, Warren Avenue and Harnois Avenue all meet in a dance around buildings in the middle that include a Walgreens, a sports pub and a tattoo shop.
Traffic heading out of and into Portland gets backed up here regularly, especially at the intersection of Warren and Cumberland. According to the Portland Press Herald, it also has the ninth-highest crash rate in the state and third-highest in Cumberland County. One woman was killed crossing Main Street when she was struck by a van in 2004.
The new lights are all coordinated, to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. They also force drivers to slow down as they make their way through the triangle and be more aware of their surroundings.
Some drivers however have had a question about these lights for the Westbrook Police Department. Several of the lights at Cumberland Mills have red arrows and many drivers think they can make a right turn on a red arrow. The answer is a simple no.
According to Title 29-A, Section 2057 of Maine law, "a red light, if a steady arrow, means the operator may not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by that arrow."
One person replied to someone on Facebook who thought you could turn right, "The arrow is literally telling you there is no right on red, so what's the confusion?"
Similar confusion is happening in the Portland area over what to do on a yellow flashing left turn arrow that has been showing up on newly installed traffic lights in the city. The yellow flashing light means that a driver can turn left but must yield to oncoming traffic.