699204_156677-20170222-car-wash-2-e1488200940501Traffic is a common complaint for new and proposed car washes, but residents usually worry it will mean a higher number of vehicles. For a car wash in Waterville, Maine, the problem has also created long lines. The lines stretch through the business parking lot and down the street. On the day the local paper reported on the problem, the line had wrapped around to the other side of the road where cars were forming a line in the median headed in the opposite direction.

With 16,000 residents and just one automatic in-bay car wash, the city of Waterville seems to be in desperate need of a second automatic in-bay wash. The closest wash for patrons of  J&S Oil car wash is about six miles away. The paper reports that the problem illustrates the intersection of several agencies in the city with a hand in the solution.

Frustration over back-ups and long waits at the city’s only automatic car wash has highlighted a simmering problem that involves city planning, economic development and police enforcement along one of the main traffic arteries in Waterville.

Police have been called in to begin warning residents caught waiting in line on the road for a wash. If that doesn’t solve the problem, customers caught waiting in line could eventually be ticketed.

In the meantime, customers and city officials are struggling to come up with a long term solution. They said a proposed car wash was turned down in 2015 for similar traffic concerns.