The driving route that is the Bold Coast Scenic Byway physically touches 24 communities in Washington County. The Byway route literally and figuratively provides cultural links within the region, and connects these communities to the entire Downeast and Acadia region, to Maine and New Brunswick, and to the rest of the world. The scenic byway transportation corridor, along with the many undesignated side routes, enables travelers to discover the special places, histories, cultures, people, stories, events, and products that make this region unlike any other. Through the physical interconnection of assets provided by the roadway, a “critical mass” of stories and activities is created, visitors are encouraged to stay longer and explore deeper, and what they ultimately discover instills a desire to return for more. Aside from a scenic travel corridor, the Bold Coast region boasts numerous self-guided, thematically organized driving destinations, including the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium’s Sculpture Trail, the Downeast Birding Trail, the Maine Ice-Age Trail, the Maine Wine Trail, and the Downeast Fisheries Trail, and several international equivalents in New Brunswick. The 85-mile Downeast Sunrise Trail, which is both a travel destination for visitors and a primary transportation corridor for local residents, follows the former Calais Branch Rail corridor and roughly parallels the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. The Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan identifies important local assets, describes the physical conditions including safety and mobility issues along the transportation corridor, and makes recommendations for both organizational and infrastructural improvements to support the traveler’s needs. Scenic byway infrastructure should not solely focus on interpretive panels that tell a region’s stories, scenic turnouts for photo opportunities, and rest areas for picnicking. While these leisure and recreation assets are important, it is critical to first lay the foundation for a safe, pleasant transportation experience for all uses. A traveler whose front end is destroyed by potholes and frost heaves won’t return, and won’t recommend the region as a place to visit. A bicyclist who doesn’t have a safe route to ride won’t return, and won’t recommend the region either. Locals who can’t get where they need to go due to increased congestion won’t support growth in tourism, and will in fact fight against it. With these issues in mind, and with an understanding of the long-term benefits of attracting and retaining regionally appropriate tourism, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan includes Goal #5: Increase transportation safety and multi-modal opportunities by providing a safe, efficient, and attractive transportation corridor that balances the needs of visitors, residents, and businesses. With increasing popularity of the region as a tourism, recreation, and retirement area, we can expect increases in vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. Community and regional investments in planning solutions and roadway infrastructure are needed to provide a safe, efficient, and pleasurable traveling experience for all roadway users.

Transportation Infrastructure for Economic Development

There are several existing planning documents in Washington County with inventory and policy direction on transportation infrastructure to support economic development. Successful corridor management planning requires transportation planning to be integrated with land use planning and economic development planning. Several regional transportation-planning initiatives define goals and strategies for supporting safe multi-modal transportation access throughout the byway region while facilitating economic development and maintaining natural and cultural integrity. Three "Corridors of Regional Economic Significance to Transportation" or CRESTs were designated in Washington County as part of Maine's Statewide Long-Range (20-year) plan, Connecting Maine (2007). The Washington County CRESTs associated with the Bold Coast Scenic Byway include the Coastal Canadian Corridor and the Downeast Coastal Corridor. Each corridor includes the multiple modes of transportation: rail, road, air, trail and port that allow movement of goods and people through the corridor. These corridors and the planning documents for them include the following: Downeast Coastal Corridor Management Plan (2009, 2014) —Washington County Council of Governments and the Hancock County Planning Commission worked together to develop a Corridor Management Plan for the Down East Coastal Corridor, which is defined as the broad East-West transportation corridor that moves people and goods between Eastern Washington County and Bangor/Ellsworth. The corridor includes Route 1, Route 9 and connector routes (e.g. 193, 192, 191, 214). Coastal Canadian Corridor Management Plan (2011) —A state-designated transportation corridor in eastern and northern Maine that extends from Eastport to Houlton.  The Washington County Council of Governments is the lead agency for the portion of the plan covering the Corridor in eastern Washington County, between Eastport and the Aroostook County line in Danforth. Route 1 Mobility and Safety Analysis — Route 1 is the primary transportation corridor for coastal Washington County, and provides vital transportation links for freight, commuter and tourist traffic moving into, out of, and through the Bold Coast region. Municipal land use regulations play a role in preserving the corridor’s ability to serve as a regional transportation artery. Design solutions that facilitate the separation of freight from commuter and tourist traffic are also needed to maintain an adequate level of service.  This report identifies three primary strategies and multiple alternative options for separating freight from commuter and tourist traffic. Routing Study for Potential/Alternative Trail Connections Between Pleasant Point and Eastport (2012) — Prepared by the Washington County Council of Governments, this study presents alternatives for the development of a trail corridor that would link the Pleasant Point Tribal Community to the terminus of the old railroad bed on Sea Street in historic downtown Eastport. The Study examines the current location, condition and ownership of the original railroad bed and provides alternative routes to avoid private homes, bypass protected natural features and create a safe bicycle and pedestrian route between the places where residents live and where they attend school or other community functions. Connecting this trail to the Sipayik Trail in Pleasant Point would provide a continuous, safe trail approximately 7 miles long linking Route 1, the Town of Perry, the Tribal Community of Pleasant Point, Quoddy Village, the Redoubt Hill residential area, Shackford Head State Park (depending on routing) and downtown Eastport. Eastport Freight Rail Restoration Study (2009) (Chapter 1;Chapter 2; Chapter 3a, Chapter 3b, Chapter 4,Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7): The purpose of this preliminary report was to estimate the cost of restoring rail freight service to the port of Eastport and to determine a feasible location, layout and cost for a rail to truck trans-load facility within reasonable distance to the port of Eastport. The results of this report were incorporated in an application for an ARRA TIGER Grant for Federal Stimulus funds (NOT FUNDED) that would have been used to solicit funding to restore vital rail freight access to the port of Eastport. Rail to Port Alternatives Analysis (2014) Building on the 2009 Eastport Freight Rail Restoration Study, GROWashington-Aroostook completed a alternatives analysis from potential trans-loading sites in Perry to the port using GIS maps and a review of site constraints, flushing improvement to the upper reaches of Cobscook Bay and reducing freight traffic through the Passamaquoddy Reservation at Pleasant Point. Bicycle and Pedestrian Assessments —The safety and mobility of sidewalks and shoulders have been analyzed in the following Bold Coast Scenic Byway towns (in partnership between the Washington County Council of Governments and the Maine Department of Transportation):
  • Milbridge
  • Machias
  • Lubec
  • Eastport
The following towns were also analyzed for connectivity to the Downeast Sunrise Trail:
  • Cherryfield
  • Harrington
  • Columbia Falls
  • Whitneyville
  • East Machias
  • Dennysville

Roadway Users and Surface Conditions

The byway route consists of 125 miles of paved, two-lane roadways that provide year-round residential, commercial, and tourism access to the coastal and inland villages of Washington County. These roads also provide commercial and international access between the Canadian Maritimes and the United States. Logging trucks, tractor-trailers, over-size agricultural equipment, and commercial fishing boats are common sites along the byway route. The byway route includes portions of roadway classified by the Maine Department of Transportation as ‘Minor Arterial,’ ‘Major Collector’ and ‘Other Principal Arterial.’ Route 1 is a two-lane highway with well-developed traffic safety measures such as paved shoulders and turning lanes. Large portions of Route 1 and much of Routes 187, 189, 190, and 191 remain “unbuilt” in that surface conditions are rough, and roads have no painted lines, no or badly damaged paved shoulders, and no guardrails. In many places, roadway surface conditions along the byway route are fair for vehicles and poor for pedestrians and bicyclists. Some roadways adjacent to the byway route are open to ATVs, and numerous ATV and snowmobile trails cross the byway. Although not prolific, bicycle traffic is becoming more common along all portions of the route, especially near more populated town centers. Pedestrians are typically concentrated in village areas, but because residences are scattered throughout the entire byway route, casual walkers should be expected anywhere. More accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians are needed. Freight traffic on Route 190 rose in recent years with increased activity at the Federal Marine Terminal in Eastport. Route 189 and 187, which connect Lubec and Jonesport/Beals (respectively) to Route 1, also carry significant volumes of freight traffic and function as important commuter and tourist routes. Route 1 serves as the “Main Street” for many communities in the region including: Milbridge, Cherryfield, Harrington, Jonesboro, Whitneyville, Machias, East Machias, Whiting, Perry, and Pembroke. In these communities, vehicle-dominated downtown environments result from speed and congestion of through-traffic. Narrow streets, pedestrian traffic, on-street parking, structures built close to the right-of-way, reduced speed zones, and multiple curb cuts impede through-traffic in village areas. In Jonesport the right-of-way is notably narrow with structures very close to travel lanes, sometimes making two-way traffic difficult or impossible when commercial trucks are servicing local businesses. Conversely, pedestrians, bicyclists, and visitors must use extra caution in these areas as they shop, dine, sightsee, and otherwise enjoy the downtown areas accessed by Route 1. Most village centers have paved sidewalks and marked crosswalks, however, drivers do not always slow to a speed suitable for a village atmosphere or properly yield to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Traffic Volume and Flow

Census data from the American Community Survey (2007-2011) 5-year estimate indicates that commuting to work throughout the region continues to be dominated by single occupancy vehicles (approximately 74%). Buses carry less than 1 percent of commuters.   Approximately 4.7% of all commuters throughout Washington County reported walking to work, and approximately 12% throughout the county reported carpooling to work.
Commuting Patterns for Bold Coast Byway Village/Downtown Centers
Commuting Pattern Work in town Commute Out Commute In
Year 2007 2011 2007 2011 2007 2011
Columbia 165 132 113 127 149 124
Eastport 484 516 163 201 416 310
Jonesport 382 276 205 297 326 238
Lubec 466 349 113 197 355 243
Machias 2,038 2,066 472 489 1,520 1,737
Milbridge 512 575 430 486 252 510
Source: http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/ Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) volume along the byway route (in 2012) ranges considerably along the byway route, from 250 in Trescott and 9,030 in Machias. The highest average annual daily traffic counts are found on Route 1 (Columbia-5,200; east of Harrington-5,230; East Machias-5,820; Milbridge-5,890; and Machias-9,030). Truck traffic is heaviest along Route 1 west of Machias, and Route 190 carries significant truck traffic to and from Eastport. All segments of Route 1 and Route 190 on the byway route are part of Maine’s Heavy Haul Truck Network (HHTN). (Routes 187, Route 191 and Route 189 are not part of the HHTN.) Bicyclists and pedestrians most commonly use the portions of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway located in village centers where there are, for the most part, adequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities (e.g. sidewalks and paved shoulders). No daily count data on bicycle or pedestrian use is available for the byway route.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities

No designated bicycle lanes exist in the Bold Coast region, and much of the route, including Route 1, has no paved shoulder for bicyclists. Some areas of roadway have no shoulder at all, not even a gravel shoulder, forcing both bicyclists and pedestrians into the traveled way and at risk of conflicts with vehicles. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities are primarily concentrated in service center communities, where they provide an important transportation option for those without access, or those choosing alternatives to automotive transportation. In recent years, many new shoulders have been constructed, facilitating bicycle access within communities. However, an interrupted patchwork of shoulders remains throughout Washington County that inhibits use of roads for bike commuting or touring. The East Coast Greenway and other designated bike routes contribute to the mix of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Downeast Sunrise Trail is an 85-mile off-road multi-use trail, which passes through the Byway communities of Milbridge, Harrington, Cherryfield, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Jonesboro, Whitneyville, Machias, East Machias, Dennysville, Pembroke and Charlotte. This trail is shared with ATV’s, making the provision of a trail surface that is also appropriate for bicycle users problematic. Minimizing multi-user conflicts and improving trail access to community services are priority missions of the Downeast Sunrise Trail. The condition of pedestrian facilities (sidewalks and crosswalks) varies greatly from town to town and even within each community. Winter conditions of sidewalks are often poor. When sidewalks are not cleared of snow, pedestrians are forced to walk along the edge of the travel lane, creating significant safety issues. Bicycle and pedestrian inventory and assessments have been completed in the towns of Milbridge, Lubec, Eastport, and Machias, with recommendations for safety and mobility improvements. A Village Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan was completed for the six communities of Cherryfield, Harrington, Columbia Falls, Whitneyville, East Machias and Dennysville, due to their location on or along the Down East Sunrise Trail.

Safety and Mobility Issues

According to MaineDOT High Crash Location data for 2010-2012, there are 9 high crash locations within Washington County. Of those, three occur along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. One high-crash site exists along Route 1 between Milbridge and Cherryfield, one exists along Route 1 between Cherryfield and Harrington, and one exists east of Machias at the intersection of the Gardiner Lake Road and Route 1. Of these, the location between Cherryfield and Harrington has the highest crash rate, and the location between Milbridge and Harrington has the second highest crash rate. This information corresponds with recommendations for turning and passing lanes, scenic turnouts, and other mobility improvements provided by the “Washington County Route One Mobility & Safety Analysis” (WCCOG, 2007). The most significant transportation problems associated with the Byway Route identified in the 2007 Mobility and Safety Analysis include:
  • Restricted mobility on Route 1 due to the lack of passing lanes and safe truck turn-out facilities; and
  • Crash rates in areas along Route 1 associated with congestion and excessive speed.
Restricted mobility on Route 1 is most severe in the late summer when tourist traffic and freight movement are both at their highest volumes. In the absence of formal trucker rest areas along Route 1, long-haul drivers use informal rest areas along shoulders near services, such as the junction of Route 1 and 1A in Harrington and at the triangle in Pembroke, resulting in diminished sight distances for other motorists. The condition of connector roads, most of which are also classified as “un-built,” present significant safety risks for pedestrians and bicyclists, and impede the movement of freight traffic. Natural resource-based industries (forestry, blueberries, wreaths, and seafood), many of which are located along connector roads, are all reliant on the ability to move freight safely and efficiently. Due to the lack of freight rail, all freight moving through and along the corridor, as well as all freight moving through the Federal Marine Terminal at Eastport must be transported by road. This impedes mobility and contributes to roadway safety concerns. It also increases roadway deterioration, particularly along un-built sections of highway. There are no passing lanes along the entire length of the Byway route. With no separate passing lanes for 100 miles, motorists take greater risks to pass slower moving vehicles. Passing opportunities on Route 1 are limited to passing zones designated by yellow dotted lines. In addition, much of the length of secondary Routes 187 and 191 are not striped. In some locations, existing passing opportunities are sufficient to allow for unimpeded flow of traffic. However, along most of the length of the Byway route, additional passing opportunities are needed. At times of peak traffic, oncoming traffic frequently limits the use of existing passing zones. This is especially true during summer months. As traffic volume increases, passing opportunities are essential, especially at time of peak traffic volume.

Scheduled Roadway Improvements

Washington County contains 556 miles of Highway Corridor Priority Miles [1](includes categories 1-5) and contains174 bridges. Many improvements to these priority roadways and bridges are slated for repair in the current Maine DOT Work Plan (January 2014). Major projects located along or near the byway route are:
  • Addison: Replacement of Dyke Bridge, West Branch Pleasant River
  • Jonesport/Beals: Improvements to Beals Island Bridge over Moosabec Reach
  • Cherryfield, Milbridge, Harrington: Highway preservation paving from Blackwoods Road to Dorman Road.
  • Cutler: Construction of a new float system including 5 new floats and pilings, adding off-street parking, stabilizing the shoreline, and improving beach access at the Cutler Harbor public access site on Wharf Road.
  • East Machias: New sidewalk from Hadley Lake Road to Elm Street School; Replacement of Jacksonville Bridge over the East Machias River; Highway reconstruction on Route 1, extending 1.8 miles northerly from Pope Memorial Bridge.
  • Eastport: Install automated weather observation system at the Eastport Municipal Airport; New snow removal equipment Building; Highway reconstruction on County Road from Route 190 to Baron Road; Design and construction of a new breakwater.
  • Edmunds Township: Bridge Replacement of Tide Mill Number Two Bridge (#3171) over Crane Mill Stream.
  • Jonesboro/Whitneyville: Route 1 Highway Reconstruction south of Route 1A.
  • Lubec, Trescott, Cutler: Light capital paving from Route 189 in Lubec to Cove Road in Cutler.
  • Machias: Design and reconstruction of runway, including lighting at Machias Valley Airport; Replacement of Dyke Bridge (Route 1) over Middle River.
  • Milbridge: Light capital paving of Wyman Road 2.23 miles south from Route 1; Public transportation administrative assistance and capital equipment purchase for rural transit (Washington Hancock Community Agency).
  • Milbridge, Cherryfield: Reconstruction of Route 1 extending 4.81 miles northerly from Spruce Street.
  • Perry: Pedestrian safety crossing and landing from Warrior Road to Wapap Road.
  • Roque Bluffs: Replacement of Englishman River Bridge.
  • Whiting/Edmunds: Highway reconstruction of Route 1, north of Dodge Road extending northerly to Tide Mill #2 Bridge (Crane Mill Stream).
Priority Policy Recommendation: Some of these scheduled repairs are located within areas that have been or could be identified as important places to locate vehicle turnouts or turning or passing lanes, as noted in several of the transportation studies listed above. Prior to final design or commencement of construction, the MDOT should work with local communities and the byway committee to determine whether passing and turning lanes and vehicle turnouts should be located within these areas. Additionally, new paving and new construction projects should always strive to include paved shoulders for bicycle and pedestrians. MDOT should work with communities and the Byway committee to determine any opportunities for inclusion of paved shoulders in these planned projects. When implementing safety and mobility recommendations for turning lanes, passing lanes, scenic turnouts, and other mobility, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations should be taken into consideration and incorporated whenever possible.

Way-finding—Road Signs and Maps

 Scenic Byway way-finding system consists largely of signs, and in part of maps. Travelers often do not have the patience to search for a destination they cannon easily find, and will quickly change gears and head in a different direction. Way-finding systems help people determine the route of travel to best access the desired experience. Way-finding systems educate locals and visitors as to existing amenities, and, when designed well and used correctly, can deliver a pleasant visitor experience. Way-finding systems can help mitigate traffic flow by directing travelers along a communities preferred route, and can eliminate sign clutter and traveler confusion. Way-finding systems can also introduce a brand, create a sense of place, and create a sense of arrival in a region.  

Signs: The following types of signs occur along the byway route:

  Regulatory Signs: Regulatory signs include speed limit signs. Speed limit and other regulatory signs are typically placed near villages and major intersections. Placement of regulatory signs appears to be consistent throughout the byway route.   Advisory Signs: Warning signs along the corridor include curvature, wildlife crossing, school zone, pedestrian crossing, and trail crossing signs. Placement of advisory signs appears to be consistent throughout the byway route. Official business directional signs: Private businesses apply to the MaineDOT for permits to place official business directional signs. The signs are placed by the MaineDOT in advance of roadway junctions. There are a few places along the byway route with notable clusters of business directional signs, but these clusters do not significantly detract from the experience of the byway travelers.   Priority Policy Recommendation: Explore opportunities better coordinate and co-locate placement of directional signs along the byway. Please see Chapter O: The Six-Year Action Plan and Priority Capital Improvements Plan for a detailed list of proposed way-finding sites.   Directional Signs: Directional signs along the byway include street signs, informational signs for getting to major routes (direction and distance), and signs placed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) directing visitors to state parks and public lands. This latter type includes signs for McClellan Park in Milbridge, Roque Bluffs State Park in Jonesboro and Machias; Great Wass Island in Jonesport, Fort O’Brien State Historic Site and Jasper Beach in Machias; Cutler Coast Trails in East Machias; and Quoddy Head State Park and Roosevelt International Park in Whiting and Lubec. In conjunction with nature-based tourism initiatives, the DOC has promoted use of the nature-based tourism “Chickadee” logo in directional signage along the byway route. Both DOC and MaineDOT have both made recent investments in byway quality signs along the route.     On-site business signs: On-site business signs are regulated by municipal land use ordinances in Milbridge and Eastport. None of the other communities along the byway route currently have any ordinances regulating business signs. Most signs throughout the corridor are consistent with the identified intrinsic scenic, historic, and natural qualities of the byway. However, there are some notable exceptions, including lighted signs and signs with moving text in Machias’ “bookend” commercial districts.   Priority Policy Recommendation: Partner with Bold Coast communities on general design and location standards for on- and off-site signage.   Maps: Maps of the region are produced privately and publicly. Some are printed while others are web-based maps. Those maps most accessible to Bold Coast travelers include the Delorme Gazetteer and other road atlases, state-printed and AAA road maps, a “Discover DownEast & Acadia” map created by Washington County Council of Governments and Downeast Acadia Regional Tourism, and a Merchant Map Street Guide and Index of Washington County printed by Mass Marketing Inc. Numerous visitor guides available at Chambers of Commerce also include page and centerfold maps of the region and individual communities.   The map produced with DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism is out-dated as it does not include the Bold Coast Scenic Byway or the sites along the Schoodic International Sculpture Trail. The Bold Coast Scenic Byway website includes numerous local and regional maps: boldcoastbyway.com/maps/. Following is a DRAFT of a full-sized Byway map being produced by the WCCOG. Once complete, this map will be made available to businesses and information centers for on-site display throughout the region. As funding allows, a fold-out pocket version of this map will be made available for visitors.

Public Transportation

  The Bold Coast region has limited public transportation options. West’s Transportation offers daily round trip service from Calais to Bangor with in-town stops along Route 1. The Washington Hancock Community Agency (WHCA) mainly provides transportation for clients referred to them by the Maine Department of Human Services; transportation is also available for members of the general public on a space-available basis. The general public may schedule rides with WHCA, although the average traveler cannot use Sun Rides as a commuter service, because:
  • General-public riders are taken on a space-available basis only, so even a ride scheduled well in advance will be bumped if the transit vehicle is at capacity with contracted clients;
  • Demand-response systems serve some rural communities just one day a week, with fluctuating departure and arrival times.
Ferries connect Eastport and Lubec in the summer with the Fundy Islands, including the Quoddy Loop Ferry and the Eastport/Lubec Ferry, as well as private transport and touring companies.  The only taxi service is located in Calais, and one limousine service is located in Machias.

Airports

Primary regional airports within the Bold Coast region include:
  1. Bangor International Airport is the nearest airport with regularly scheduled passenger commercial service. BIA provides national and international commercial passenger and freight services, as well as Air National Guard operations. It has an 11,441-foot main runway and car rental services are available.
  2. Deblois Flight Strip, off State Route 193, has a 4,000-foot runway but no beacon or fueling services. Last rated by the state in poor condition.
  3. Eastport Municipal Airport has a 4000-foot runway and provides limited charter and instructional services. Beacon and fueling services. Last rated by the state in good condition.
  4. Hancock County - Bar Harbor Airport located in Trenton provides daily commuter service to Boston, Massachusetts, and charter service is offered. Car rental services are available. 5,200-foot main runway.
  5. Lubec Municipal Airport has a 2032-foot gravel/turf runway, with beacon, but no fueling services. Last rated by the state in good condition.
  6. Machias Valley Airport has a 2909-foot runway and is used by private plane owners and in an emergency, by air ambulance services. Beacon, but no fueling services. Last rated by the state in good condition.
  7. Princeton Municipal Airport has two runways, the larger of which is 3999 feet, and is used primarily by private businesses and recreational fliers. Beacon, but no fueling services. Last rated by the state in good condition.

Railroad Facilities and Rail Services

  Passenger rail service to Washington County stopped nearly fifty years ago and freight service stopped in the mid-1980s. Recent efforts have created recreational trails along abandoned rail lines and rights-of-way. The Downeast Sunrise Trail is an 80-mile multi-use trail on the exempt Calais Branch rail line corridor from Ellsworth to Ayers Junction. The Management Plan for the Calais Branch specifies that if rail becomes a feasible use of the corridor then the Downeast Sunrise trail will no longer be the primary use of the corridor. The East Coast Greenway is a bicycle and walking trail planned to extend from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine, which also uses the rail line rights-of-way. Passenger rail service in the State has increased with the reinstatement of passenger service between Boston and Portland and, more recently up to Brunswick, Maine. However, the only connecting transportation between Brunswick and the Bold Coast region is private taxi or limo service.

Ports

  The deep-water port of Eastport at Estes Head boasts the greatest natural depth of water of any port on the east coast of the United States and as the easternmost port in the United States, is significantly closer to Europe. With 100 feet of water on approach channels, 64 feet of water at the pier at low tide and more than sufficient space to turn the largest ships afloat, Eastport is uniquely positioned and naturally endowed to accommodate any size vessel existing or planned. The port has two piers, three berths, with a low tide depth of 40 feet, and over 75,000 square feet of covered storage. The outer berth can accommodate a ship up to 900 feet in length. There is also a municipal breakwater in downtown Eastport for use by smaller vessels. Smaller cruise lines already schedule stops in Eastport, and new cruises are being added each year. Private sailing vessels can be accommodated in the walkable waterfront villages of Eastport, Lubec, and Milbridge.

Downeast Coastal Scenic Inventory

The February 2010 Downeast Coastal Scenic Inventory was prepared by the Hancock County Planning Commission and the Washington County Council of Governments, along with a collaboration of governmental and non-profit agencies. This inventory utilized a methodology outlined by the (former) State Planning Office (SPO). By their definition, scenic resources are public areas, features, and sites recognized, visited, and enjoyed by the general public for their inherent visual qualities. The inventory focused on scenic resources viewable from public access places such as roads, parks, scenic turnouts, coastal water bodies, great ponds, public hiking trails, and similar features. Scenic features specifically noted included bridges, marshes, sail boats, historic buildings, cemeteries, islands, cliffs, working docks, lighthouses, cottages, tidal creeks, wildlife, rocky outcrops, and compact fishing villages. Utilizing the SPO methodology, sites of regional scenic significance are those areas achieving a total value score in the 50’s and 60’s, while areas of statewide or national scenic significance receive a value score of 70 or higher. Sites scoring below 50 are considered of local significance, and are not included in the following list (please see the Downeast Coastal Scenic Inventory, February 2010 (http://www.wccog.net/scenic-inventory.htm), for a description of the scoring criteria and a full list of sites inventoried). According to the method used, Washington County contains 59 sites of regional scenic significance, and 35 sites of statewide or national scenic significance. Following is a listing of regionally, statewide, or nationally significant scenic sites within the Bold Coast Scenic Byway corridor.
Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Scenic Inventory (2010)
State or National Scenic Significance
Scenic Area Scenic District Score
Pigeon Hill Pleasant River Bay 92
Shackford Head Cobscook Bay 88
MCHT Bold Coast Bold Coast 86
Roque Bluffs State Park Englishman's Bay 85
Petit Manan Prospect Harbor 84
Cobscook State Park Cobscook Bay 83
Sipp Bay Cobscook Bay 81
West Quoddy Head Bold Coast 81
Reversing Falls Cobscook Bay 80
Flake Point Englishman's Bay 79
Gleason's Cove Cobscook Bay 79
Eastport Waterfront Cobscook Bay 78
St. Croix Waterfront Passamaquoddy Bay 78
Hamilton Cove Cobscook Bay 77
Machiasport Machias Bay 77
Mooseabec Reach Englishman's Bay 77
Alley Bay Englishman's Bay 76
Cutler Harbor Bold Coast 76
Lubec Channel Cobscook Bay 76
Schooner Cove Bold Coast 76
South Addison Pleasant River Bay 76
Johnson Bay Cobscook Bay 75
Youngs Cove Cobscook Bay 75
Jasper Beach Machias Bay 74
Maguerrowock Pleasant River Bay 74
The Bar Pleasant River Bay 74
Carrying Place Cove Cobscook Bay 73
Little Kennebec Englishman's Bay 73
Pinkham Bay Prospect Harbor 73
Whitlock Mills Passamaquoddy Bay 73
Little Machias Bay Machias Bay 72
Starboard Machias Bay 72
Upper Machias Machias Bay 71
Bucks Harbor Machias Bay 70
Shipyard Cove Machias Bay 70
Bailey's Mistake Bold Coast 69
Bog Brook Cove Bold Coast 69
East Machias Machias Bay 69
Sandy River Beach Englishman's Bay 69
Milbridge Pleasant River Bay 68
Mill Cove, Robbinston Passamaquoddy Bay 68
Morong Cove Cobscook Bay 68
North Lubec Cobscook Bay 68
Pond Cove Englishman's Bay 67
Tibbett Island Pleasant River Bay 67
Halfmoon Bay Cobscook Bay 66
Bad Little Falls Machias Bay 65
Bellier Cove Cobscook Bay 65
Denbow‐Leighton Point Cobscook Bay 65
Head of Sipp Bay Cobscook Bay 65
McClellan Park Pleasant River Bay 65
Pike Lands Cobscook Bay 65
Cable Pool Pleasant River Bay 64
Sipayik Cobscook Bay 64
Whitneyville Machias Bay 63
Addison Point Pleasant River Bay 62
Narraguagus Pleasant River Bay 62
Sanborn Cove Machias Bay 62
St. Croix Island Passamaquoddy Bay 62
Columbia Falls Pleasant River Bay 61
Holmes Bay Machias Bay 61
Pleasant Bay Pleasant River Bay 61
Blueberry Hill Pleasant River Bay 60
Boise Bubert Pleasant River Bay 60
Jacksonville Bridge Machias Bay 60
Indian River Pleasant River Bay 59
Cherryfield Downtown Pleasant River Bay 58
Fort O'Brian Machias Bay 58
Haycock Harbor Bold Coast 55
Gardner Lake Machias Bay 54
Gin Cove Passamaquoddy Bay 54
Dennysville Cobscook Bay 53
Larabee Cove Machias Bay 52
Middle River Machias Bay 52
Whiting Corner Cobscook Bay 52
Wescogus Pleasant River Bay 51
Bog Brook Bold Coast 50
Devils Head Passamaquoddy Bay 50
Regional Scenic Significance
Scenic Area Scenic District Total Score
Indian Lake Machias Bay 49
Tide Mill Creek Englishman's Bay 49
Woodruff Cove Machias Bay 49
Crowley Island Pleasant River Bay 48
Great Cove Englishman's Bay 48
Boyden Lake Passamaquoddy Bay 47

Scenic Turnouts and Interpretive Sites

  Scenic turnouts provide opportunities for travelers to rest, recreate, and enjoy scenic and historic sites that initially drew them to the region. Scenic turnouts also provide opportunities to separate tourist traffic from commuter and freight traffic, thereby minimizing traffic conflicts and increasing roadway efficiency, safety, and enjoyment. For the length of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, the overall assessment is that turnouts and public infrastructure is deficient. The 2007 Washington County
Route 1 Mobility and Safety Analysis, which explored design solutions to separate freight from commuter and tourism traffic, identified two designated scenic pull-offs along the Route 1 section of the byway route, and only one seasonal public privy. The two identified pull-offs and the privy are in Edmunds Township (Little Augusta Boat Launch and the Edmunds Picnic Area) on the stretch of Route 1 between Lubec and Eastport. Additional informal scenic pull-offs identified by the report include: “the Dike” in Machias and the public boat launch at Indian Lake in Whiting. Public facilities are not available at either of these locations.   The Route 1 Safety and Mobility Analysis also identified another seven sites along the Route 1 section of the byway route that currently function as scenic pull-offs or have the potential for development as a scenic pull-off/interpretive site. Sites were identified based on existing use, visual amenities, and input from local officials.   The Bold Coast Corridor Advisory Group identified many other formal and informal scenic turnouts and picnic area sites along Routes 187, 191, and 190, for a total of 37 potential scenic turnouts and interpretive locations along the byway route.   Routes 187 and 191, which connect Jonesport and Lubec with Route 1, do not have any designated scenic turnouts. Existing roadside municipal green spaces and areas currently utilized as informal pullouts provide opportunities for designated scenic and interpretive sites. Three such sites were identified along Route 187, and three along Route 191.   Route 190 into Eastport currently has one designated scenic turnout with interpretive signage, located at Carrying Place Cove. Two other scenic areas, already utilized as informal turnouts, are located at either end of Carlow Island.   The Corridor Advisory Committee compiled the following list of existing or potential locations for scenic turnouts that could function both to help separate tourism traffic and provide interpretive information about the region.    

Existing and Potential Scenic Turnouts/Interpretive Sites

 
   Site Direction/Location Intrinsic Attributes Existing Facilities RecommendationsFor Improvements Partners
1 Milbridge Municipal Center and Sculpture Park Adjacent to Town Hall, Library, Post Office, Medical Center, Moosehorn NWR Coastal Scenery, Historic Village, Sculpture Park, Wildlife Sculpture park, parking, bathroom, walking trail Route 1 Signage, Interpretive signage, path to NWR headquarters, picnic tables SISS, Town of Milbridge, Moosehorn NWR
2 Narraguagus River (Milbridge) NorthboundOpen views across open fields just before entering Cherryfield Narraguagus River None Paved pull-offInterpretive signage Town of Milbridge
3 Town Park, Train Depot(Cherryfield Town Center) SouthboundAt the intersection of Route 1 and Main St. Narraguagus River; National Historic District; Historic Train Depot Landscaped park, picnic tables, train depot Interpretive signageInformation Center Vault Toilet Destination Cherryfield; Downeast Sunrise Trail; Cherryfield Narraguagus Historical Society
4 Harrington Village Green NorthboundAt the intersection of Mill Street and Route 1, town center Park, historic downtown Landscaped park, granite benches Interpretive signage, picnic table Town of Harrington, Library and Historical Society
5 Village of Columbia Falls Route 1 Northbound Historic District, Coastal Scenery, Fisheries, Maritime and Lumbering Heritage, Wreaths Fish Hatchery, Museums Route 1 Signage, Wreath-making interpretation, Historical Interpretation Downeast Salmon Federation, Ruggles House, Wreaths Across America, Town of Columbia Falls
6 Wescogus Overlook and Cemetery(Addison) Southbound on 187, cemetery adjacent to Wescogus Farm Broad vista over blueberry fields, marshes and bays of Addison. Historic cemetery. None Interpretive signage (blueberries?) gravel pullout Town of Addison, Wescogus Farm,Historical society/library
7 Indian River Church and Grange(Addison) Both DirectionsAt intersection with Crowley Island Road and Route 187 Historic structures in good condition None Interpretive signage Town of Addison, Wescogus Farm,Historical society/library
8 Lincoln Park (Jonesport) Route 187, SouthboundAt Lamb of God Church (intersection of Indian River Road and Main) Coastal Scenery, Jonesport/Beals Bridge,Working Waterfront Municipal park with picnic table and benches, paved roadside parking, historic cemetery Interpretive Signage(sculpture and local information kiosk are being constructed) vault toilet at Fire Station or on church property Jonesport Economic Development Committee, Downeast Fisheries Trail, Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium;Jonesport Fire Department; Lamb of God Church
9 Jonesport Heritage Center 21 Sawyer Square, adjacent to State boat landing Maritime Heritage, oral history, interpretive programs Museum, working waterfront, ship building, parking Interpretive signage Town of Jonesport, Jonesport Historical Society, Jonesport Shipyard, Downeast Fisheries Trail
10 Sardine Museum(Jonesport) Route 187east of downtown Maritime Heritage, interpretive programs Museum, parking Interpretive signage Town of Jonesport, Jonesport Historical Society, Jonesport Shipyard, Downeast Fisheries Trail
11 “The Washout”(Jonesport) Route 187 Northbound(8.4 miles from Route 1, east end of 187) Chandler BayEnglishman Bay, open ocean with islands Informal gravel parking for 3-4 vehicles with stone bollards Paved ParkingInterpretive Signage Jonesport Economic Development Committee, Downeast Institute; Jonesport Historical Society
12 Sandy Beach(Jonesport) Route 187 Southbound (from east end of 187)Sandy Beach Municipal Park Chandler Bay, open ocean with islands, Sandy Beach Municipal Park with picnic tables and BBQ facilities. Seasonal porta-potty, designated parking Interpretive SignageLandscaping Vault Toilet Jonesport Economic Development Committee; Downeast Institute; Jonesport Historical Society
13 Mason Bay Scenic Area(Jonesport) Eastern end of Route 187, Both Directions Coastal Scenery, Mason Bay views, blueberries, fisheries  None Paved pull-offInterpretive signage Town of Jonesport, local conservation groups
14 Chandler Village, Chandler River(Jonesboro) Route 1, northbound, at intersection with Old US Route 1  Chandler River, Chandler Village Historic Site Municipal Park with interpretive signage about the village, parking, benches Assess need for further interpretive information Town of Jonesboro
15 Blueberry Barrens(Whitneyville)   Route 1 Northbound~3/4 mi west of Whitneyville/Machias town line Blueberry barrens, scenic vista, geology None Paved pull-offInterpretive signage Ice Age Trail (Down East RC& D) Blueberry companies
16 Bad Little Falls (Machias) Route 1 Northbound Fisheries, Scenery, History Bad Little Falls Park Assess need for further interpretive information Town of Machias, Beehive Collective, Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
17 Machias Dyke (Machias) Route 1 SouthboundIn-town Machias Machias Bay;Middle River Paved parking;Boat launch; Farmers’ Market; Downeast Sunrise Trail Development of visitor center, picnic area, and interpretive signage at Station 98, future site of Machias Chamber of Commerce Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Downeast Sunrise Trail, East Machias Historical Society
18 East Machias Aquatic Research Center Route 1 Northbound Maritime HeritageFisheries Interpretive center Assess need for additional interpretation Downeast Salmon Federation, Downeast Fisheries Trail, East Machias Historical Society
19 Woodruff Cove (Machiasport) Either Direction, at intersection with East Side Road Woodruff Cove Informal historic information sign Interpretive panel, small gravel pull-off Town of Machiasport, Historical Society
20 East Machias Historic District Either Direction, Route 191 Historic Village, Maritime Heritage Registered historic district Parking, signage, interpretive information East Machias Historic District, Town of East Machias, Washington Academy
21 Holmes Bay(East Machias) Route 191 Southbound, just before Whiting Town line Holmes Bay, open ocean with islands None Paved ParkingInterpretive Signage Town of Machiasport, local conservation groups
22 Looks Gourmet Foods(Whiting) Route 191 Southbound from western end approximately 6 miles from Route 1, just past Looks Historic Fisheries,Holmes Bay, open ocean with islands None Paved ParkingInterpretive Signage Looks Lobster,Downeast Institute, Downeast Fisheries Trail
23 Little Machias Bay(Cutler) Route 191 Southbound from western end10.7 miles from Route 1 Little Machias Bay, Gravel beach, Cutler Towers Informal gravel boat launch, gravel parking Paved ParkingHand Carry Boat Launch Interpretive Signage Town of Cutler,Downeast Institute  
24 Cutler Town Office and Library In-town Cutler Cutler Harbor, Little River Lighthouse Paved parking, grassed area Interpretive SignagePicnic Tables Landscaping Town of Cutler, Little River Light House
25 Moose Cove (Trescott Township) Northbound, Route 191 Moose Cove views None Gravel Turnout, Interpretive signage Unorganized Territories, conservation groups
26 Bailey’s Mistake(Trescott Township) Northbound, Route 191 Bailey’s Mistake views None Gravel Turnout, Interpretive signage Unorganized Territories,Trescott Historical Society
27 Johnson Bay(Lubec) Eastbound, Route 189 Johnson Bay views None Gravel Turnout, Interpretive signage Town of Lubec, Conservation Groups
28 Lost Fisherman’s Memorial Park (Lubec) Downtown, Intersection of North Water Street and Commercial Street Maritime Heritage, Coastal Scenery, Working Waterfront, Historic Downtown Lost Fisherman’s Memorial Park Many improvements are in progress! Town of Lubec, Lost Fisherman’s Memorial Association, Lubec Historical Society, Downeast Fisheries Trail, Charlotte County Regional Tourism Association
29 Little Augusta (Edmunds) Northbound, Route 1  Whiting Bay Gravel parking;Hand-carry Kayak launch Maintenance of Gravel Turnout and launching site, Interpretive signage Unorganized Territories, conservation groups
30 Bell Mountain Trails (Edmunds) Southbound, Route 1, across from Tide Mill loop road Roadside Trails None Trail head signs and parking Unorganized Territories, conservation groups
31 Moosehorn NWR South and North Trails(Edmunds) Route 1, Either Direction, at intersections with North and/or South Trails Roadside recreation, wildlife viewing Picnic table area, Outhouse,Paved parking; Informal gravel parking Interpretive signs, Picnic table, maintained gravel parking Moosehorn NWR, Unorganized Territories
32 Historic Dennysville Route 1, Either Direction Historic District, Lumbering History, Dennysville River Registered Historic District Scenic turnout with interpretive signage Town of Dennysville, Dennysville Historical Society & Library
33 Pleasant Point Boat Launch Pleasant Point, end of town, prior to boat launch Gleason Cove, Herring Weirs Parking Interpretive SignagePicnic Tables Landscaping Waponahki Museum
34 Carlow Island North(Eastport) 191 Southbound north end of Carlow Island Gleason Cove, Herring Weirs Informal gravel parking, beach access Paved ParkingInterpretive Signage Beach Access Eastport Historical Society, Waponahki Museum
35 Carlow Island South(Eastport) 191 Northbound south end of Carlow Island Bar Harbor Informal gravel parking Paved ParkingInterpretive Signage Beach Access Eastport Historical Society, Waponahki Museum
36 Carrying Place Cove(Eastport) 191 Southbound, head of Carrying Place Cove Carrying Place Cove, ocean vistas and islands Paved parking, interpretive panels, landscaping, beach access Assess need for additional interpretation Downeast Fisheries Trail
37 Eastport Visitor Center Intersection of Water Street and Sullivan Street Coastal Scenery, Working Waterfront, Maritime Heritage, Historical Downtown In progress. Visitor information, public bathroom, Interpretive center Improvements in progress. Work with Port Authority to assess interpretive needs. Port Authority, Downeast Fisheries Trail
Sources: 2007 Washington County
Route 1 Mobility and Safety Analysis (2007); Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Advisory Group (2014)

Recommendations for Improvements to Roadway Safety

  The potential for development of seasonal and year-round homes in coastal communities along the corridor could result in increased commuter and tourist traffic throughout Washington County. Municipal land use regulations and comprehensive plans play an important role in preserving the corridor’s ability to serve as a regional transportation artery. Community and regional design and planning solutions are needed to separate freight from commuter and tourist traffic.   The 2007 report identifies three primary strategies for separating freight from commuter and tourist traffic:
  • Improved turning access to facilitate separation of commuter and through-traffic;
  • Additional scenic pull-offs to facilitate separation of tourist and freight traffic; and
  • The addition of passing lanes.
  The 2007 “Mobility & Safety Analysis” specifically identified the need for several turning and passing lanes along what is now the designated Bold Coast Scenic Byway route. To allow for adequate (safe) passing opportunities and separation of tourism traffic from freight and commuter traffic, this Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan recommends that the Maine Department of Transportation make necessary roadway improvements for turning access at all identified locations in cooperation with the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, the Downeast Sunrise Trail, the Downeast Coastal Corridor Multimodal Management Plan (WCCOG/HCPC 2009), and any other current, pertinent transportation initiatives.

The 2009 Downeast Coastal Corridor Multimodal Management Plan, and its update in 2014, are a study of Route 1 which provide recommendations for maintaining safe and efficient passage of commuter, freight, and tourist traffic while increasing (tourism-related) economic development opportunities in the region. Several recommendations of this report directly relate to the byway route:

 
  • Improve un-built Sections of Route 1 in Washington County that are not built to modern standards, including the addition of guardrails, shoulders and additional passing lanes;
  • Make necessary roadway improvements for turning access at identified locations;
  • Make necessary roadway improvements for passing lanes at identified locations;
  • Construct or improve potential sites for scenic pull-outs, to facilitate separation of tourist and freight traffic.
Long-term recommendations for Route 1 corridor management, as written in the 2009 Downeast Coastal Corridor Multimodal Management Plan, which directly relate to byway route management include:
  • Assure that future road improvements reflect the needs of the major groups of users: truckers, commuters and tourists. The needs of these three groups must be addressed in a manner that preserves and protect the unique character of the [entire]
  • Promote effective access management policies and other land management measures recognizing resistance to land use controls. Maintaining the scenic, natural, and historic attributes of the byway route is critical to long-term preservation of the culture of the region, and unmitigated residential and commercial sprawl has the potential to deteriorate the integrity of these intrinsic resources.
  • Prepare for increased rates of congestion due to more traffic. Increasing popularity of the region as a tourism, [recreation,] and retirement area means continued increases in vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic.
Other recommendations set forth by this Corridor Management Plan include the incorporation of striping and paved shoulders along Routes 187, 189, 190, and 191 wherever possible. These roadway features provide separation between bicycle and vehicle traffic, providing a reasonable measure of safety to all users. Potential bicycle routes should be analyzed and prioritized for feasibility and correlation with byway route intrinsic values, and funding sought in partnership between municipalities, the County, and the MaineDOT.   Although signage does not currently create any significant detraction from the intrinsic qualities of the byway route, signage will become more numerous and diverse as communities grow. Municipalities with frontage along the byway route should consider incorporating at least minimal design and co-location standards, such that future signage remains consistent with the byway route’s overall scenic, historic, and natural qualities.   As noted above, scenic turnouts provide opportunities for separation of tourism traffic from commuter and freight traffic, and this Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan recommends the designation and maintenance of identified formal and informal scenic turnouts as interpretive, scenic, and recreational sites, as appropriate (See Chapter 15, Priority Capital Improvements Plan, for detailed recommendations).   [1] For definitions of these categories, please see www.maine.gov/mdot/about/assets/hwy/

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