SCARBOROUGH — The town and the city of Saco are hoping to make U.S. Route 1 safer and more accessible are presenting draft recommendations to the public.

The two communities partnered with the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System to complete a study that helped determine some of the recommendations.

Planning began in late 2018 and draft recommendations for the busy roadway were first proposed earlier this month. The plan will address the conflicts caused by increasing traffic and aims to encourage people to walk, bike and use public transit.

Some of the proposed changes include identifying locations where traffic signals would improve safety, adding bicycle lanes and paths, creating sidewalk expansions, improving bus stop safety and visibility, and streamlining the number of driveways along U.S. Route 1 to ease stop-and-go traffic.

“The focus is around how can we get our main intersection in Scarborough to function more efficiently,” Scarborough Planning Director Jay Chace said. “We want to preserve mobility, and hearing from residents will help us do that. After these discussions, we’ll regroup with a consultant and adjust the draft as necessary.”

In Scarborough, the plan recommends creating a “gateway” intersection at Hillcrest Avenue to improve safety and help slow vehicles entering town from the Maine Turnpike. The gateway intersection would include the addition of bike lanes and larger crosswalks.

In Saco, one recommendation suggests installing a hybrid traffic signal at the Route 1 crosswalk at Thornton Academy, which would stop traffic more effectively and make it safer for those using it.

Scarborough planned to make its public presentation June 20 at 6 p.m. at the Wentworth School, 20 Quentin Drive; Saco will host its meeting Thursday, June 27, at Saco City Hall, 300 Main St., also at 6 p.m.

The draft report is also available online for reading and commenting.

With more than 100 other recommendations included in the plan, the meetings are intended to give residents a chance to discuss their personal experiences and for city officials the opportunity to compare their recommendations with those from area businesses and property owners.

Once adjustments are made to the recommendations, according to Chace, the draft will have to run through the transportation committees in both Scarborough and Saco, and will be brought to their town and city councils for acceptance later this summer.

If approved, parts of the plan will be implemented as funding becomes available.

Krysteana Scribner can be reached at [email protected] or 780-9094. Follow her on Twitter: @krysteana2016.

In Saco, one recommendation for U.S. Route 1 changes suggests installing a hybrid traffic signal near Thornton Academy, which would stop traffic more effectively.

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