On the same evening Lewiston’s angry citizens will meet in private, the Maine Turnpike Authority is holding a public meeting in Auburn to talk about its 10-year transportation plan.

Not included in the agency’s thoughts is a Turnpike exit for downtown Lewiston-Auburn, despite long-standing hopes, demands, pleas, cajoling and other forms of begging from officials and business interests who think an interchange could be an economic game-changer.

We tend to agree with them. L-A, as an urban center, lacks for highway access. The current exits on outer Lisbon Street and Danville are not convenient to downtown; the distance between them and downtown is a disincentive. And the desired development around those exits hasn’t yet come.

The MTA says traffic demands don’t call for another exit in L-A. This is the wrong way to evaluate its necessity. An exit is needed not for the demand that exists, but for the demand it could create.

MTA should be swayed to this thinking. But this would require a united effort by both cities.

So, the question: Can one happen?

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