About the Smart Corridor Plan
This Smart Corridor Plan offers the opportunity to take a comprehensive, big picture look at the corridor as a whole and a fine-grained, more detailed look at several focus areas for the purposes of developing future land use and transportation improvement strategies. We will make recommendations for improving access and safety for all travelers, in all modes, and proposals to enhance the appearance and function of the corridor and its design.
The study will also focus on some of the important neighborhood centers and corridor segments where improvements could prove especially beneficial. The key focus areas for the Smart Corridor Plan are:
Forest Avenue North, Portland: Morrill’s Corner south to Woodfords Corner
Morrill’s Corner is a neighborhood commercial center at the northern end of the Smart Corridor. It has several closely-spaced intersections with heavy traffic volumes, high levels of congestion, and commercial development fronted by parking and wide driveways. South of Morrill’s Corner, the corridor comprises one general traffic lane and a bike lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. The next neighborhood commercial center, Woodfords Corner, is the site of a major reconstruction project to address traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety.
Forest Avenue South, Portland: Woodfords Corner to Deering Oaks Park
To the south of Woodfords Corner, Forest Avenue widens to four lanes with on-street parking. There are periodic pedestrian crosswalks, but no bicycle facilities along Forest Avenue from the north side of Woodfords Corner to the intersection of Bedford Street/Baxter Boulevard, at which point bicycle lanes are provided through the wide and busy Interstate 295 interchange. This segment of the Smart Corridor includes a mix of residential, commercial, and institutional land use, including the University of Southern Maine. The Smart Corridor continues south through Deering Oaks Park along State Street and High Street, through the downtown Peninsula, to the Casco Bay Bridge.
Broadway, South Portland: Mill Creek/Knightville to Bug Light Park and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)
The Casco Bay Bridge terminates in the Mill Creek/Knightville section of the Smart Corridor, which has heavy traffic volumes and wide intersections at Waterman Drive, Ocean Street, and Cottage Road. Pedestrian and bicycle connections through the Ferry Village neighborhood are provided by the Smart Corridor as well as the South Portland Greenbelt Pathway, which runs parallel. The Smart Corridor terminates at SMCC and Bug Light Park, key destinations that would benefit from enhanced multimodal connections to the northeastern tip of South Portland.
While the Forest Avenue North and Forest Avenue South segments both include Woodfords Corner, that area was recently the subject of a comprehensive public planning and design process through the Transforming Forest Avenue plan and the Woodfords Corner Improvement Project (as noted below). This process resulted in a widely-supported new design for Woodfords Corner that is expected to address queuing and congestion, and to improve access in all modes. The project will be starting construction in fall 2017, and is expected to be completed in 2018. As a result, the Smart Corridor Plan will evaluate improvements to the north and south of Woodfords Corner that will build upon this new design, but will not propose changes to Woodfords Corner.
Building Upon Previous Planning Efforts
The City of Portland, City of South Portland, and PACTS have long recognized the importance of the Smart Corridor to the region, as well as to the residents and business in the corridor and the neighborhoods adjacent. A number of planning studies and improvement projects have been undertaken in and near the corridor, which can be viewed by clicking on the links below: