BANGOR, Maine — The city plans to fix one of its busiest and most frustrating stretches of road and hopes to hear from people who travel on it every day.
Bangor hired T.Y. Lin International, an engineering services firm with offices in Falmouth, to help it work out solutions to traffic congestion on Broadway, namely the stretch from Grandview Avenue to the Interstate 95 ramps.
A public informational session covering plans for the study will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on the Husson University campus. Business owners and residents who use that stretch of road are encouraged to attend.
“It’s always nice to hear from people who drive that road every day,” said City Engineer John Theriault.
Funding for the study is administered by the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System, an organization designated by the federal and state government to carry out transportation planning in Greater Bangor. The cost of the study is $83,396, according to BACTS director Rob Kenerson, with 80 percent coming from federal highway funds, 15 percent from the Maine Department of Transportation and the remainder from 10 local communities that contribute to BACTS. Its goal will be to improve the flow of traffic and make the road safer for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists along a stretch that sees some 24,000 vehicles per day.
As T.Y. Lin gathers information, it will hold more public meetings and provide updates to city officials and committees. A public meeting at which the firm will present a draft plan to the public is scheduled for mid-March.
A final “transportation improvement plan” is expected in May, a month after those recommendations are presented to city boards and committees.
An advisory committee of Broadway business owners, residents and commuters has been formed to periodically review the findings of the study and make recommendations based on those findings. That group will sit down with the consultant to field information and provide feedback.
In its proposal, T.Y. Lin highlights a series of high-crash locations, including the I-95 ramp intersections, Falvey Street and the area near Walgreens. The firm also aims to find a way to resolve “gridlock conditions” that occur near McDonald’s. It also points out that “marginal” sidewalks and crossings don’t promote walking and aren’t compliant with disability accessibility rules, as well as the fact that “Broadway is not a bicycle-friendly corridor and no facilities are provided.”
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter @nmccrea213.