The city of South Portland and Greater Portland Council of Governments are holding an online meeting on Monday, June 28 to present draft transportation recommendations for the Broadway corridor and surrounding neighborhoods east of Mill Creek.

The recommendations are based on findings from the Cushing’s Point Transportation Study. The online public meeting is scheduled for June 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone can sign up to attend by clicking here or going to the Greater Portland Council website at the time of the meeting. Attendees will see a detailed presentation about the recommendations and be able to ask questions and make comments before any recommendations are finalized.

The city of South Portland and Greater Portland Council of Governments are holding an online meeting on June 28 to present draft transportation recommendations for the Broadway corridor and surrounding neighborhoods east of Mill Creek. Courtesy image

The draft recommendations include improvements in transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities, traffic management, and an initial look at the feasibility of a marine ferry to and from Portland. Examples of the types of recommendations included are below; more detail will be available at the meeting.

Transit Improvements: The plan’s primary goal is to improve bus service on the Broadway corridor by decreasing travel times, increasing service frequency, and providing safe and accessible bus stops with connections to other modes of transportation. Specific proposed changes to Route 21 will be provided at the meeting. Opportunities for improving efficiency by shifting routing schedules are proposed for Route 21 and Route 24A. The study also identifies technology improvements on Routes 24A and 24B to shorten bus travel times and make bus travel more reliable. Microtransit is currently used for trips to and from the food cupboard and could be expanded to the Cushing’s Point area of South Portland. Microtransit is a type of transit that is more flexible in terms of routes and timing than fixed-route bus service.

Traffic management: Transportation and land use are fundamentally linked to the location of housing, services, public facilities and job centers, influencing the mobility of residents. Recommendations include the creation of land use and development policies that incentivize transit use and reduce drive-alone trips. The study also recommends adopting the use Adaptive Traffic Signal technology, which could reduce travel time in the corridor by 11 percent or more.

Increasing Bicycle and Pedestrian Trips: Increasing active transportation is an important goal. To make biking and walking more attractive, planners recommend widening and enhancing the Greenbelt as the primary facility for accommodating bike traffic, adding bike lanes where land acquisition would not be needed, and slowing vehicle traffic on selected neighborhood streets to make cycling safer. Adding sidewalks and improving and expanding pedestrian crossings are also recommended for multiple neighborhood streets. New sidewalks would be added where there are gaps in the system and where traffic volumes and usage indicate the need for a more distinct separation between pedestrians and vehicles.

Adding Ferry Service between South Portland and Portland: Using existing projections for residential growth, the ferry service analysis concluded that a 40-person vessel running directly across the Fore River to Portland is feasible in the future. However, this service would most likely be an amenity and would not play a key role in reducing vehicle usage in this area of South Portland and in the region. The study will be completed in the fall of 2021.

For more information about the study or to make comments online, visit the project website at the Greater Portland Council of Governments, or contact Andrew Clark, regional transportation planner for the Greater Portland Council of Governments, at [email protected], or Milan Nevajda, South Portland director of planning, at [email protected]