PORTLAND, Maine — This month, the City of Portland will be asking the public to make some choices about the redesign of Franklin Street.
A public workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29, at Portland Public Library’s Rines Auditorium, starting with a brief presentation and moving on to illustrated viewing stations where people can voice or write their opinions on a range of choices. For those who are unable to attend the meeting or prefer online commentary, many of the same illustrations and choices are available via a brand new public outreach website at http://franklinstreet.mindmixer.com.
Some of the specific issues the city wants to hear about are the best locations for new cross street connections and new development, preferences around bike and pedestrian travel, how to improve Lincoln Park, potential size and scale of new buildings, how to handle transit, degrees of landscaping and greenspace, and whether or not to consider roundabouts.
According to a press release statement by City of Portland Director of Public Services Michael Bobinsky, “Portland typically has a good turnout at public workshops, but we wanted to find out if we could hear from others, those who have a hard time getting to meetings, either because of time conflicts or a lack of interest in that format. This new website is simple, easy to understand, and available in multiple different languages. We hope as many folks as possible take a few moments to check it out, sign up, and give us the benefit of their opinions.”
Bobinsky added that any person who uses the site and encourages others to do so will earn Reward Points, which can be redeemed online for free passes to local museums and city transportation. “It’s just one more way to encourage people to tell us what they are thinking,” he said.
This major study is now in progress to complete work begun by the citizen-led Franklin Arterial Committee four years ago. It will create a future plan for the entire street from Marginal Way to Commercial Street. The study will also produce a preliminary construction design for the portion of Franklin Street from the intersection of Marginal Way to Oxford Street, which will be the section to go under construction first.
The snow date and location for the meeting is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Merrill Rehearsal Hall in Portland.
For more information on the study to-date and to sign up for updates, go to http://www.portlandmaine.gov/franklinstreetphase2.htm. More information on the meeting and the website can also be obtained from Carol Morris, Morris Communications, 207-329-6502 firstname.lastname@example.org.