Process for Phase II of Franklin Street Described; MDOT Seeks More Public Input by 8/13.

Members of the Public a the Well Attended EECS Meeting

By Carol McCracken (Post # 534)

Better communication from the State and better neighborhood representation during the 18th month process were the key concerns of the public who attended an informational meeting last night at the East End Community School on the Hill. The agenda for the well-attended meeting was to describe the next step in the Franklin Street Feasibility Study – it is called “Phase 11.”

Phase 1 of the Franklin Street Study was completed last year and the report accepted by the City Council. The Committee. co-chaired by Markos Miller, identified three prelimlinary alternative design concepts to address concerns on the Franklin Street corridor. They revolved mostly around bicycle/ pedestrian traffic around the corridor. Phase 11 expects to begin in September where Phase 1 ended.

An advisory committee will be established and it is expected to be composed of members of the Phase 1 committee and others. It’s hoped that separate contracts will be signed in September with two consultants; one is VHB and the other Smart Mobility. The latter was involved in Phase 1. Darryl Belz, study manager, for the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) described the scope of the project in detail and in a 12 task process handout. Task 3, public outreach, was the subject that brought most of the comments from the public.

Jay York, of East Bayside, expressed concern about the lack of public notice to the neighborhood. He said he was concerned about community involvement “at the table” and worried about the right people being “at the table” as well. He declined an invitation from the state to be a member of the advisory committee. Other speakers reinforced his concerns.

The state said that this was a preliminary meeting and it would take effective steps to insure better communication to the neighborhoods and heavy input from the communty. MDOT would like to hear any additional comments from the public by August 13th. Markos Miller has agreed to serve as a conduit; please email him at markossmiller@hotmail.com. He will forward them to MDOT.

For more background information, please see post # 532, dated July 26th.