2018-03-30 / Letters

No restrooms at the train station?

To the editor:

The Kennebunk Post’s informative report on the saga of the proposed seasonal Amtrak train stop at the historic grainery property just off Summer Street in Kennebunk includes the astonishing statement: “No public restrooms would be provided, at least at first, with a ticket kiosk the only amenity.”

The people proposing this single “amenity” must never have traveled much on a train before or must never have traveled with children or with anyone over 65 for whom the call of nature cannot be avoided.

The Kennebunk town website sets the tone: “Visit Kennebunk, Maine to experience a classic, quintessential New England town. You can stroll through an historic downtown as well as Lower and West Kennebunk Villages where various amenities are offered.” The website might have to be amended to read: “Except, no amenities available at the train station.”

Surely, the station planners and the town manager and the board of selectmen might consider the European model where typically, the loo at the train station is available for a fee which covers the cost of maintenance. But then, would that violate the spirit of the sign at the town borders: “Kennebunk-a Certified Business-Friendly Community”?

Even the traveler to the 8th century historic Beehive huts and oratories on the Dingle Peninsula in rural Ireland finds portable toilets. The Kennebunk plan without a public toilet indeed has gone off the rails — miserly and unnatural comes to mind.

Robert F. Lyons

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