Last night more than 100 people attended a forum about their concerns on Commercial Street and how they may be addressed in the future. Traffic, parking and access to the waterfront were among the top concerns reported. The two hour meeting was facilitated by WSP, Boston, at the Rines Auditorium of the Portland Public Library.
Initially, a representative from WSP asked the participants to respond to the question: What is the number one issue you want us to address? Traffic, parking and access to the waterfront were the most commonly mentioned issues from the public. Furthermore, someone suggested that the Comprehensive Plan be followed, that the buildings on Commercial Street are too large, that the number of passenger cars on the busy street be reduced and that there are too many hotels on the Street.
A representative from WSP explained initially that the study on Commercial Street began at the end of the summer. The consultants have been collecting data since then to determine the vision for the corridor. Following the current meeting, they will begin to analyze the results. Then in mid-February, there will be another public meeting to report back what was learned from this meeting.
The city of Portland has announced that the total cost of the Commercial Street Operations and Master Plan is $133,500. The funds are from various sources including $40,000. from 383 Commercial Street/Rufus Deering development per a planning board condition of approval.