2017-12-15 / Letters

Train depot decision is shortsighted

To the editor:

I am, indeed, very disappointed; no, outraged that Mr. Karytko and three other selectmen have virtually stifled the creation of a train stop where, for many, many years there had been one.

If that’s their vision of town government then pity the adventurers and entrepreneurs, not to mention the young who need our expansiveness.

While building with the hope that people will come involves some uncertainty, not building at all brings you the certainty that they will not.

Four days per week for five years I traveled from my home in Kennebunk to the Wells Transportation Center to board the Downeaster into Boston for work there.

I can assure Mr. Karytko that it most certainly is not cheaper and faster to get to the Wells stop than it would be to go to Kennebunk Depot for the same train.

He also needs to check the records of the Downeaster that are available online to see that the ridership to and from the Wells stop increases dramatically during the spring/summer/fall seasons and even has a substantial ridership during the winter.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that a stop in Kennebunk would garner less, unless you honestly feel that the Kennebunk/ Kennebunkport magnet would fare less than the Wells/Ogunquit attraction.

The fact is this town’s and Kennebunkport’s attractions are much closer to our depot, and, at one time, there was even a spur (now the Bridle Path) that made them even closer.

By voting to spend funds in 2014 to create a Downeaster stop at our old depot, I think the voting townsfolk gave the selectmen a mandate to act on the will of the town government which the residents of this town are.

If the selectmen think that they are, then we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

Be it through eminent domain or otherwise, the selectmen need to put their collective imaginations together quickly and provide a train stop with ample, accessible parking at Kennebunk Depot. Its benefits to the town’s citizenry and businesses is inestimable.

The Downeaster goes through our town 10 times a day without stopping here. Mr. Baldwin needs to know that it doesn’t go into a hole, but into a lucrative market called Boston.

It’s time to stop it here, and go for the ride.

Terry Vaughan

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