As a lifelong resident of Portland, I am very proud to see what the city is becoming. Bayside and the Hill are undergoing major changes. Franklin Street is about to be redesigned. Improvements are everywhere, but residents off the peninsula are being left out.

Lessons can be learned from history. In the late 1800s, the part of Portland off the peninsula briefly became the town of Deering. South Portland also asked to be part of Portland. Both notions may seem quaint now, but each has its own merits.

By reincorporating Deering, revenues could be dedicated to improving such problems as Morrill’s Corner and Woodfords Corner. Both intersections have long been nightmares, yet nothing transformative is done.

If a town of Deering had its own elected council, these problems would take precedence over what Old Port hotels will be going up, or what developer wants to build luxury condos on the Hill.

Creating a Greater Portland with surrounding communities would allow resources to be combined. The incorporation of surrounding boroughs into New York City allowed resources to be pooled, and planning decisions on things like public transportation to take on a wider scope.

Portland is not New York, but light rail moving to various destinations throughout a “Greater Portland” would be a big improvement. Morrill’s Corner was once a hub of such a system. Tracks still exist, but long ago were tarred over to make way for automobiles – which have, ironically, become an obstacle to Portland’s growth.

While I realize these ideas may seem far-fetched, something needs to be done to draw the attention of decision makers off the peninsula for a change. To make Portland a truly great city, all residents should see and feel some of the improvements the peninsula is seeing everyday.

Jason Lambert

Portland