May 28, 2020
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Portland’s plan for downtown open-air market gets first OK

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Crosswalk signs outnumber the pedestrians in downtown Portland, Maine, on March 25, 2020.

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A Portland City Council committee has endorsed a plan to help downtown survive the pandemic by closing some city streets for months to allow stores and restaurants to expand into them.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the plan will go to the full council at its meeting Monday now that the Economic Development Committee voted 4-0 in favor of it. The plan, which would run June 1 to Nov. 1, calls for small stretches of Dana, Exchange, Milk and Wharf streets to be closed to traffic. Plans to close parts of Cotton and Middle streets were dropped.

If Portland adopts the plan, the city will be Maine’s second to look to help retailers survive the shutdown that came with the pandemic by stopping through-traffic. Rockland City Council members voted unanimously on Monday to turn a portion of their downtown into an open-air market about three weeks ago.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

The council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.

 


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