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Listeners reimagine the Washmill underpass

WASHMILL PROPOSAL-ERIC STOTTS-2.jpgWe asked listeners for their ideas on how the Washmill underpass could be transformed into something iconic and cutting edge. See our proposal for a Hot Wheels-style loop.

Eric Stott wrote:

Dear Mainstreet,

I was delighted to hear your "modest proposal" for the Washmill Underpass on today's Mainstreet... The investment on infrastructure in modern society is enormous, and much of the infrastructure we depend on is desperately in need of repair or replacement.

Increasingly we will need to be creative not only with how we imagine, prioritize design and build new infrastructure, but how we repurpose, reprogram and reimagine the infrastructure which already exists all around us...

I spent an hour or so this past winter walking around the Washmill site and photographing it. I was struck by what an amazing space it is. What could occur here?

When I was a child in Peoria, Illinois, there was a Drive-In Theatre in a field through the woods behind my house. We would ride our bikes to the back fence in the summer time and watch movies. It was an amazing experience.

What if one were to take advantage of Washmill Underpass's adjacency to the Empire Theatres, its accessibility to established bus routes, a bike/walking trail system and ample parking on adjacent lots, and were to establish an open air cinema / live music venue / performance space? It could be used for film screenings (perhaps an additional venue for the Atlantic Film Festival) and live local music festivals to name just a few possibilities.

Mr. Muskrat wrote:

Absolutely brilliant! I have just one suggestion. It was pointed out that drivers would need to slightly exceed the speed limit to make the loop, and it seems almost certain that somebody would chicken out and cause an ugly accident.

Therefore I think you need to add the "power booster" which as I recall was a device with spinning wheels on either side of the car that grabbed it and accelerated it. This would ensure that all vehicles enter the loop with sufficient momentum.

John Speagle wrote:

The architect's proposal for the "loop" is pretty to look at, but might not taxpayers' money be better spent in using this highway cutoff to create a "direct" passage to the Dartmouth bridge through Fairview; using tax money for expropriation of land necessary for such construction. The access to the bridge is a "mess" right now.

Kristine Webber wrote:

I'm a big fan of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My thoughts? Lets put in a psychedelic tunnel similar to the boat scene on the chocolate river! I often feel like I'm entering an alternate reality when going into Bayers Lake, so why not make it official.

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