Our top priorities for 2014

In October and November of 2013, the PBPAC brainstormed priorities and voted as a group on what our group should focus on for the coming year. While these exercises had focused on infrastructure improvements in prior years, this year we split it into two categories: one "policy" priority for implementation by the City Council, and three "infrastructure" priorities to be implemented via existing project funding tools (mainly PACTS for federal funding and the city Capital Improvement Program for local funding). 

The results of these voting exercises are listed below:

Policy priorities were voted on on a one member/one vote basis.

Extend paid parking hours downtown into the evening hours and dedicate a portion of parking revenues to bike/ped/transit capital projects
7 votes
Christian MilNeil agreed to lead a subcommittee to draft ordinance language and try to shepherd it through City Council. 

Runner-up priority: 
Parklet ordinance. Formalize a means for businesses to rent parking spaces for outdoor dining and other non-parking uses; combine with stricter rules and enforcement for sidewalk clearance in outdoor dining areas.
2 votes

Other policy ideas shortlisted and discussed:
  • Transit-oriented development zoning - Deleted from the ballot: agreed to pursue this idea via city staff and existing efforts. 
  • Fund education and encouragement programs for bike and pedestrian transportation 0 votes but Bike Coalition of Maine is working on some statewide policies that might help.  
  • Shared lanes/citywide 25 MPH limit - Deleted from the ballot: it was agreed that we'd pursue this through Complete Streets working group as opposed to creating a new initiative. 
  • Open Streets citywide - Deleted from the ballot: rather than focus on this as a new priority, it was decided to pursue this through the existing subcommittee structure (Jen Claster and Zack Barowitz).

Infrastructure priorities were voted on a one member/three votes basis, with members allowed to load multiple votes on one project if they chose to. 

The top three would be added to the Committee's current list of top infrastructure priorities (in addition to un-implemented priorities from prior years, listed below).

 Project         Votes     Notes
Deering Oaks Park access improvements  6 votes    Related to 2010 top priority to fix Exit 6; focused more generally on 1-way streets around the park, Park Avenue, motor vehicles inside the park, and Bayside Trail connection to and through Deering Oaks. Will also be a focus in Bayside Circulation plan. 
Casco Bay Bridge Traffic Calming         6 votes         The bridge is a major barrier to bike commutes between Portland and South Portland and a source of traffic congestion on either end where 50 MPH traffic re-enters 25 MPH local streets. Opportunity to create an additional sidewalk on the west side of the bridge. To be done in coordination with South Portland BPAC.
Road Diet for Preble Street Extension in the Vicinity of Hannaford's 5 votes     Another priority to focus on in Bayside Circulation plan; an expansion of our 2010 priority to improve Preble and Elm between Monument Square and Bayside.
 Other project ideas below the top-three threshold:   
Long Creek Bridge Connection from Veterans Bridge to Redbank     3 votes     Long-term priority in need of funding.
Brackett Street Neighborhood Byway 3 votes     From Casco Bay Bridge to Maine Medical Center. Possible CDBG project
Better Connections to the North from Tukey's Bridge 3 votes     Plan in place, in need of funding for construction
Extend Back Cove Path along 295 Right-of-Way to Hannaford and USM Campus 2 votes     State-owned ROW could allow a path connection to Hannaford and USM. Related to Exit 6 priority from 2010. Would require a plan in place before construction. 
Bus Stop Improvements 2 votes Make all stops ADA accessible. 
Ped Improvements on Middle/Spring/Temple/Center to Lobsterman's Park Reconnecting a Ped Route Down Middle Street 0 votes     Spring St. road diet in progress.

Remaining priorities still in process from prior years:
  1. Make all sidewalks and crosswalks on the peninsula ADA-accessible (in progress; #1 priority from 2008)
  2. Implement Franklin Street Plan (final design in progress w/ some construction possible in 2015; #2 priority from 2008)
  3. Reconfigure Exit 6 at Forest Avenue to improve access between Deering Oaks, USM, and Hannaford  (element of upcoming Bayside Circulation plan; tied for #1 priority from 2010)
  4. Road diet for Preble/Elm Streets in Bayside (element of upcoming Bayside Circulation plan; tied for #1 priority from 2010)

Christian MilNeil,
Aug 22, 2012, 10:24 AM
Christian MilNeil,
Aug 22, 2012, 10:23 AM
Christian MilNeil,
Apr 28, 2015, 12:45 PM