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Portland - South Portland Smart Corridor Plan

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Portland and South Portland are vibrant cities with lively neighborhoods, a strong sense of community, healthy economies, and great quality of life. These neighboring communities offer a mix of preserved history, artistic culture, higher education, outdoor recreation, affordable housing, and good jobs. With growing national attention to this region, planning for the future is more important than ever.

Success also presents challenges, in the form of new development, which can result in traffic congestion and pressure to expand traffic capacity. Residents, employees, and visitors want manageable commutes and convenient access to shops and restaurants, yet they also want safe streets and walkable neighborhoods. It will take thoughtful planning to preserve the character of these neighborhoods while supporting economic growth and contemporary lifestyles.

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Location

Why a Smart Corridor Plan?

Creative Problem Solving

Location

The Forest Avenue / Route 302 – State Street/High Street – Casco Bay Bridge – Broadway corridor is the transportation backbone of the region. This critical corridor provides the longest continuous north – south roadway for the communities of Portland and South Portland. It retains a great deal of historic character throughout Portland and South Portland, while also providing essential regional transportation connections: it provides access between downtown Portland and communities to the north and west; it has a major downtown highway interchange with Interstate 295; and it crosses the Casco Bay Bridge, connecting Portland's downtown Peninsula with South Portland's Knightville mixed-use district.

The study corridor, however, must be understood not only as a though-route, but as a neighborhood main street providing access to nearby residences, businesses, educational and medical institutions, and parks.

Why a Smart Corridor Plan?

How can we support quality development and move people efficiently into and around our communities while ensuring safety for all travelers and enhancing local neighborhoods?

This central question — how to balance land development, traffic operations, greater travel choices, local character, and safety for everyone — is the focus of the Smart Corridor Plan, a study being conducted by the Cities of Portland and South Portland along with the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS).

The study will look at approaches for improving safety and access for all travelers and all modes — promoting public transit service, walking, and bicycling, while managing traffic congestion and addressing travel demand from high quality development.

Creative Problem-Solving

We can only achieve this outcome with creative problem-solving and a cooperative approach that integrates all travel modes and stakeholders. With help from corridor residents and stakeholders, we will develop a plan to make this a "Smart Corridor," with:

  • New "smart growth" developments that fit their surroundings
  • Robust travel choices — driving, transit, walking, biking — to accommodate more activity while managing traffic demand
  • Connections among the higher education institutions in the corridor, including improved transit options
  • Enhanced technology, including traffic signal upgrades, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) improvements, and real-time travel information for transit riders

This planning will help us to enable new economic opportunities in the corridor, improve mobility, create lively streets, and help to create a vibrant future for the corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.

Meetings

Robust public and stakeholder engagement is integral to a successful Smart Corridor Plan. The project team places a strong emphasis on coordination and communication with neighborhood residents, businesses and institutions, advocacy groups, transit riders, and other community members. Local residents and stakeholders have much to tell us about corridor conditions and issues, as well as the needs, opportunities and desires of the community. We will look to the public comments resulting from our outreach efforts to inform the planning and design process.

Upcoming Meetings

The project team will host a series of meetings over the course of the Smart Corridor Plan process to provide information on plan status and get resident and stakeholder feedback. Round 2 of the meeting series are planned for September 2017 and will include discussions on the study analysis and improvement options. Details for the Round 2 September meetings are detailed below:

If your community group or business organization would like to receive a presentation on the Smart Corridor Plan, please contact us to make a request.

The project team kicked off the planning study with a series of neighborhood events in the corridor. At each of these events, project team members led neighborhood residents, business owners, and other interested citizens in a walk along the corridor to review issues and opportunities.

Get Involved

As we study the corridor and make recommendations for improvements we need your help. We want to hear how you currently use the corridor and how you would like to use it. We want to hear what you currently like about the corridor and what you would like to be changed. We want to hear all the different perspectives before making decisions.

General Comments and Questions

We welcome your participation in the study, and we are eager to answer your questions. If you have a question, or an overall comment or suggestion for the Smart Corridor Plan, please contact us at info@mainesmartcorridor.com.

Interactive Map for Location-Specific Comments and Suggestions

We would also like to hear from you about your issues and suggestions for specific areas of the corridor. You can make a location-specific comment by selecting a spot on the map, creating a comment box, and entering your comment. You can also specify a topic area of your comment: Land Use, Roadway Design, Traffic, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Safety, or General. Many comments may address multiple topics; in this case, please pick the most appropriate, or "General."

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