5 Reasons it’s Just Never Any Fun to Drive Anywhere in Maine
If you spend much time on a site like Reddit or even say the Maine Wildlife Facebook page, you'll often see people from away that are talking about moving here. They have all sorts of questions about the restaurants, the nightlife, the best places to see moose, etc. But not one ever asks about the worst part of Maine.... the roads.
What Makes Our Roads So Much Worse?
Well, the biggest thing as I see it, is that no matter what time of year it is, there's something going on that is either trying to destroy you or your car. There is literally something year-round that makes driving barely worth it. Seriously, all four seasons are out to get you. But let's look at the biggies...
Who doesn't love road construction?
I swear as soon as the snow melts, the tearing up of the roads begins. Sure, much like our growing season in Maine, road construction has a pretty narrow window. So, it forces the MDOT to pack in as much work as they can. Last year, right in my hometown of Hampden, there were 4 separate jobs going that made it impossible to get in or out quickly.
Being stuck behind tourists is the absolute best. Said no one ever.
You're just trying to get to Hannaford in Brewer, but you've got to deal with all the gads of tourists that are meandering their way to or from Bar Harbor. Ever try to get to Holden via Wilson Street in the summer?! Not happening. Plus, as I said above, they're tearing up the entire area where I-395 dumps onto 1A. Add the bumper-to-bumper tourist traffic, and you might go crazy. Pro Tip: give the tourists directions to the southbound highway when they ask how to get to Bar Harbor. It feels great.
Deer season makes nighttime driving an absolute joy in the fall.
You've gotten over the tourists. You've survived the bulk of road construction season, and now you just want to take a deep breath and relax on your way home from work in the dark. But no, just as you exhale that big deep breath, a full-grown Bambi flies out of the woods at 400 mph and naturally stops right in front of your car. Or worse, a moose. Moose are downright deadly. A lot of folks, sadly, do not get to tell their moose stories.
The roads in winter are specifically out to get you, at all times.
Last winter, I didn't make it to work one day because ZERO plowing had been done on my road. I tried to make it in anyways but managed to slide into a ditch going 8 mph. Yes, 8 miles per hour. And it required AAA to pull me out. Yay. Even when the roads seem fine, you can come around a bend doing light speed, and discover a patch of road where the snow's been drifting across, and you almost die. It's an exhilarating feeling.
When Old Man Winter leaves, it's pothole season.
You finally stop slipping and sliding everywhere, but the spring rains have begun. Which brings constant thawing and re-freezing of the ground. Then, potholes start popping up like browntail moth caterpillars. Tons of them everywhere, making your skin crawl as you try to Super Mario your way around the potholes, prompting local law enforcement to pull you over because you look drunk trying to navigate the roads.
And then, guess where we are after that? RIGHT BACK TO ROAD CONSTRUCTION SEASON. So as you can see, it's a vicious cycle that feeds itself all year. So yeah Redditors from away... Enjoy that meal you heard so much about online, but get ready to run the gauntlet of Maine roads after.