SOUTH PORTLAND — Efforts to improve transportation along the congested Broadway corridor are continuing with temporary traffic-calming measures that have been installed in the Cash Corner neighborhood.

Additional traffic signs, designated truck and bicycle routes, curb extensions or bump-outs, and a road closure will be in place for a trial period of two months, with removal anticipated in early October, city officials announced Friday. Measures that appear to work may be retained.

The traffic-calming measures are based on a study conducted last spring and a survey answered by 160 residents and other stakeholders, said Cashel Stewart, the city’s sustainable transportation coordinator.

The study was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Maine Department of Transportation through the Greater Portland Council of Governments, which analyzed existing road conditions and recommended the traffic-calming measures that were installed by the city’s Public Works Department.

The Cash Corner neighborhood centers on the intersection of Broadway and Main Street/Route 1, where a landmark Dairy Queen is located. While the area has many residential side streets, they feed a variety of commercial and industrial operations that attract heavy tractor-trailer traffic, including Pan Am Railways’ Rigby Yard and a Hannaford Supermarkets’ distribution center.

A fuel truck passes a temporary curb extension at Broadway and Strout Street in South Portland on Saturday. Several temporary traffic-calming measures have been installed in the Cash Corner neighborhood to see if they will improve transportation safety. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

In recent years, state, regional and city planners have been working on various transportation projects meant to improve traffic conditions along the narrow Broadway corridor that snakes through the city from Cushing’s Point to the Scarborough line.

Ongoing construction of a combined middle school on Wescott Road in particular has prompted several projects aimed at improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic congestion along the western stretch of Broadway. The City Council directed planners to develop long-range policies for the Cash Corner neighborhood that will be components of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan Update.

Major problems identified through the Cash Corner survey included large-truck traffic on residential side streets, speeding, cut-through traffic and a lack of safety accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians, Stewart said.

Signs direct traffic at a temporary road closure at Kingston and Thadeus streets in the Cash Corner neighborhood of South Portland. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

To address those issues, planners proposed several traffic-calming measures, including signs directing truck traffic away from residential side streets and additional stop signs at strategic locations.

People traveling through the neighborhood can expect to see the following installations:

• Curb bump-outs at Pleasant Avenue and Cash Street, Pleasant and Rosedale Avenue, and Broadway and Strout Street to deter truck traffic and create safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.
• New stop signs creating a four-way stop at Pleasant, Cash and Hemco Road.
• Additional and improved truck-routing signs on Main Street at the railroad tracks and near the Dairy Queen, as well as where Broadway meets Pleasant, Strout and Peary Terrace.
• Diagonal road closure at Kingston and Thadeus streets to deter truck traffic from residential areas.
• Bike route signs and arrow road markings on Southeast Road and Strout, Skillings, Orlando and Lubec streets indicating lanes used by both cars and bicycles.

A post-installation survey will be conducted in September to determine which traffic-calming measures should be retained, Stewart said.

A car passes a temporary curb extension at Broadway and Strout Street in the Cash Corner neighborhood of South Portland on Saturday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.