At a March 5 Public Meeting citizens will have the opportunity to contribute to Portland’s 10-Year Conservation and Development Plan (C&DP).
Many of us feel that lack of a “Village Center” is a critically important issue to be considered.
To create a Village Center, I have been promoting new road construction 1) a CT-66 By-Pass, and 2) two traffic “roundabouts”. Here is a summary:
1) Divert CT-66 “thru traffic” by creating a new CT-66 roadway (on the abandoned Airline Railroad track) connecting to the Arrigoni Bridge via Wolcott Street (beside U-Store). This By-Pass would be fed traffic via a roundabout (think “Top Dog” location) that eliminates the existing traffic lights at Marlborough, High and Airline Ave.
2) Install a “roundabout” at the intersection of Marlborough and Main Streets. For decades this traffic light controlled intersection has been a source of complaint from commuters, emergency responders and townspeople. It is said, that CT DOT has also considered that junction as one needing improvement.
A Hartford Courant article (Feb 24) concerned Manchester’s proposal to replace two troublesome intersections with roundabouts.
Roundabouts are now favored in the U.S. because they keep traffic moving while improving safety.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (highwaysafety.org) says they reduced crashes 39%, crashes with injuries 76% and fatal accidents by 30-40%. Roundabouts also allow more room for bus stops, cyclists and shorten pedestrian crosswalk distance.
In Portland’s case, for the reasons just stated, a roundabout at Main and Marlborough would set the stage for development of a Village Center, and with the CT-66 By-Pass, a more successful development of the Elmcrest property.
Please voice your support at the March 5 (Thursday) 7 pm C&DP Public Meeting at the Waverly Center.
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