Shore Road Improvement Project

This architect’s rendering shows how The Cookie Jar would be affected by the project. Contributed / Sebago Technics

Some Cape Elizabeth residents and business owners are worried about the impacts a proposed revamp of Shore Road may have on pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The project would improve drainage, replace and upgrade utilities and include paving at an estimated cost of $7.6 million. It was originally proposed in 2019, but the planning stage was stunted by the pandemic.

With a price tag of over $1 million, the project will be decided at a referendum. In the meantime, Town Manager Matt Sturgis said the town is trying to get the majority of funds for the project through state and federal sources.

The design by Sebago Technics includes 5-foot bike lanes and shoulders and 6-foot sidewalks with curb cuts on both sides along a roughly 1-mile stretch of Shore Road from the South Portland line to Fort Williams Park. Some intersections would have shorter and safer crosswalks and better sight lines for drivers.

“The last project that had taken place on this was roughly 50 years ago, outside of paving that had taken place back in the ’90s,”  Sturgis said.

Some residents say that three parking spaces in front of The Cookie Jar pastry shop are hazardous because drivers are backing out into the road. Initial plans for the project include blocking off those three parking spots and allowing them to be used for outdoor seating.


Original designs for the proposed Shore Road Rehabilitation project near The Cookie Jar. Design: Sebago Technics

“Some of the goals through this area were traffic calming, reducing speeds,” said Nikki Conant of Sebago Technics. “This existing stretch, there’s really no defined sidewalk today.”

However, the family-owned business has only 11 parking spaces, said owner Donna Piscopo, and they are already seeing a crunch.

“You’re expecting them to park across the street,” Piscopo said. “We have 11 spaces on our property but we have 22 employees, so where do they park?”

Alternative designs, which Piscopo said she was not aware of, keep that space for parking.

Alternative designs for the area near The Cookie Jar Design: Sebago Technics

“Basically, we’re carrying the curb and the sidewalk to the parcel lines on either side of The Cookie Jar,” Conant said. “You ultimately end up with almost a 58-foot opening frontage of their parcel. This matches what’s there existing, except we’d be putting the curbing on either side of their property.”

Some residents still want to do away with the parking spaces.


“I’ve had several instances where I had to hit the brakes because someone is backing out,” said Cape resident Matt Jordan, who bikes Shore Road twice a day.

There is one known instance of a bicyclist versus vehicle accident, Conant said.

Ray Clarke, the owner of Cape Elizabeth Service Center auto repair shop, was worried about the entryways to his property, one of which would be cut down to 30 feet and the other even smaller.

“Right now, I have at least 50-foot clear entrances,” Clarke said. “When I get really busy, I get deliveries; trucks cannot get in there. You’re trying to cut my driveway down to 24 feet and I can’t deal with that. That’s way too tight.”

Other concerns revolved around parking spots proposed in an alternative design along Shore Road near Cottage Farm Road. At a 2019 public hearing, Sebago Technics heard that beachgoers who park on side streets had become an issue.

Original design for the area near Cottage Farms Road. Design: Sebago Technics

The original designs included green space between the street and sidewalk in that area. The alternative design includes 15 parking spaces on the ocean side of Shore Road from Glen Avenue to Birch Knolls.


Requiring parking permits along the side streets, suggested Chris Straw of Shore Road, may solve the problem.

Tom Ward, also of Shore Road, said there is a need for parking and that the neighborhood is “a zoo” on warm beach days.

Alternative design of the area near Cottage Farms Road. Design: Sebago Technics

Going with the alternative designs for either section of road, Conant said, could either become more or less expensive based on the plan.

“For the parking (near Cottage Farm Road), for example, the cost is going to go up because you’re replacing grass spaces with pavement.”

The Town Council will meet with Sebago Technics at a meeting in August to continue hashing out the design proposals.

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