Bangor, Maine, scales back median plans for Main Street

“As chair of the City’s Infrastructure Committee I am very pleased with the final result. Our public works director Dana Wardwell worked successfully with the businesses along Main Street to make sure the majority of their concerns were incorporated in the final plan. The nearly $2 million in improvements will significantly improve the lighting and pedestrian mobility on all sides of Main Street and it will give it a more upgraded boulevard type look,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

The following is an excerpt from the a BDN article:

The city hopes to reduce the number of medians planned for Main Street amid a major road project in order to ease concerns of area businesses and residents.

Early drafts of the plan called for nearly 1,500 feet of raised islands dividing travel lanes along Main Street. But according to Director of Public Works Dana Wardwell, the city is looking at just over 1,100 feet. The city also added plans for a crosswalk across Main Street between Sidney and Larkin streets, citing complaints about a lack of crossings along the busy stretch of road.

Bangor’s Infrastructure Committee gave the preliminary plan the go-ahead during a meeting last week, but the revisions will still need Maine Department of Transportation approval, as it is funding the bulk of the project. It will move into the design phase.

Wardwell said the city would be reluctant to go any lower than 1,100 feet, fearing it might compromise funding for the project. There will be space between medians to allow for left-hand turns, and Wardwell said there are no plans to allow for U-turns.

The main goal of the project, according to the Maine Department of Transportation, is to improve pedestrian safety. The area has seen a steady rise in pedestrian traffic in recent years. Hordes of people attending concerts and events along the waterfront cross the road to get to their cars after events. Vehicles traveling the five-lane stretch of road also tend to exceed posted speed limits. Those factors, combined with poor lighting along some parts of the road, can make for dangerous conditions, the Maine Department of Transportation has said.

These medians should slow down traffic, give pedestrians a “shelter” while crossing four lanes of traffic and improve the aesthetics of the street, officials say.

TO read the full article go here.

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