February 7

Letter to the editor: Early plan would have put arterial under busy Portland streets

I read with interest the letter from Frank Teras describing the traffic issues in Portland and his disgust over proposed changes (“Portland doesn’t need more traffic problems,” Jan. 29).

Having worked for the city of Portland back in the 1980s, I was aware of future plans to put Franklin Arterial under Cumberland Avenue and Congress Street.

A casual observer driving on the arterial should notice how the arterial widens at approaches to either of those streets.

That design created space for approach ramps to Congress and Cumberland and, on the opposite side, exit ramps off those streets for access onto the arterial.

Cumberland Avenue and Congress Street would be carried over the arterial that would be built in the current median passing under each of those thoroughfares.

Perhaps the plans were lost or there isn’t anyone left in city government from that era who would remember the original plan for the arterial.

Perhaps it is time to complete Franklin Arterial as it was originally designed and, in doing so, create easier access to Gateway Terminal and the Old Port.

Craig Skelton

South Portland

 

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