A Portland advisory committee that will evaluate the pros and cons of opening State and High streets to two-way traffic will hold its first meeting on Wednesday.

City officials created the panel earlier this year in response to concerns that the two major arterials through downtown Portland have become dangerous for pedestrians to cross because of speeding vehicles. Advocates for reinstating two-way traffic on State and High streets argue that the change will prompt drivers to slow down.

The streets were converted to one-way traffic during the 1970s.

The advisory committee will meet at 6 p.m. in Room 24, in the basement of City Hall. The meeting is open to the public, although the panel is not expected to take public comment. A public forum is expected to be held in September.

The panel is expected to hear a presentation from the city’s staff and a consultant about existing conditions on the two roads and then discuss both the challenges and benefits of converting to two-way traffic. Members are also expected to establish the panel’s goals and objectives.

The committee is scheduled to complete its work and make recommendations on the issue by May or June.

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