June 17, 2013

Maine Voices: Franklin Street redesign links transportation, development and quality of life

The process gives the city a chance to build on its strengths as it improves livability and mobility.

By MARKOS MILLER

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The removal of San Francisco's Central Freeway and Milwaukee's Park East Highway spurred millions of dollars in urban redevelopment, while closer to home, New Haven, Conn., and Buffalo, N.Y., are putting resources toward redesigning inner-city highways as urban streets or boulevards.

The Franklin Street Redesign will be guided by a context-sensitive solutions model, integrating transportation and land-use planning, complete streets and transit-oriented development principles, technical expertise and public involvement so that the preferred plan for Franklin Street serves our city's needs and reflects our values.

The final outcome, a design that may ultimately blend elements of various concepts, will guide future development along the corridor and put Portland in a position to pursue a range of funding options.

Portland is poised to grow as a residential center and an economic hub. The Franklin Street redesign process presents opportunities for our city to further build on strengths such as walkability, integrity of place and economic and environmental sustainability so that Portland continues to be recognized as a great place to live, work and play in the 21st century.

Markos Miller of Portland co-chairs the Public Advisory Committee on the Franklin Street Redesign Study.

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