PORTLAND – A traffic island on Woodfords Street that some Rosemont residents say is more of a hazard than a help will remain for the time being.

The island was installed in late 2005 as a traffic calming measure, but it didn’t work at first.

That stretch of Woodfords Street, near Fellows Street, was the scene of several traffic accidents after the island was installed, said Michael Bobinsky, the city’s director of public services. Neighbors say the crashes were caused by the traffic island, which confused drivers as they approached it.

In 2006, neighbors started a petition drive to have the island removed. But Bobinsky said his department was prohibited from tearing up the road again until September 2011.

At a Rosemont neighborhood meeting Wednesday night at Deering High School, it became apparent that a majority of residents don’t think the traffic island should be removed. Since it was installed, the number of crashes reported in that area has decreased.

Several residents said the island’s marked crosswalk provides a degree of safety for pedestrians crossing the busy street.

“The cars still don’t slow down, but I feel safe in the crossing. At least it catches the driver’s eyes,” said Derek Pelletier, who lives on Rosemont Street.

City Councilor Ed Suslovic, who represents the neighborhood, said the city will continue to monitor the area but will not take any action unless residents start another petition drive or the number of accidents increases.

Bobinsky said it would cost at least $10,000 to remove the island and resurface the road.

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]