Three Possible Concepts for Franklin Street

The Phase 1 Franklin Street Redesign Committee and project consultants developed three possible concepts for the future Franklin Street. While each concept has its own identity, they should be considered as presenting a range of possible solutions to be further evaluated in the Phase 2 Feasibility Study.  Phase two of the redesign project will result in a preferred design for the corridor. Pre-enginerring design work will follow.

Click the images to view them full-size.
Please feel free to leave your comments on these concepts for the Committee below.

Urban boulevard with an emphasis on Lincoln Park:
Franklin Street - Lincoln Park restoration scheme

Urban boulevard with an emphasis on open space:
Franklin Street - open space scheme

Urban street (narrower width than in above schemes) with an emphasis on development opportunities:
Franklin Street - Maximum development scheme

6 comments

1 Concepts for Franklin Street | Maine Real Estate { 06.24.09 at 9:00 am }

[...] The Franklin Reclamation Authority: “The Franklin Street Redesign Committee and project consultants have developed three possible concepts for the future Franklin Street. These concepts are still being refined, and the Committee is open to mixing and matching different elements from each one. Phase two of the redesign project will examine and analyze these possibilities in greater detail.” __________________________ [...]

2 david.k.gaines { 06.28.09 at 10:40 am }

I am left with the feeling that the three design proposals are all from the view of a motorist behind a steering wheel, and as such, may have fallen short of the FRA vision statement.

I believe that the best cities in the U.S. are those that matured before 1910 and escaped the urban renewal wrecking ball. Pre-1910 designs were pedestrian designs. This is one of the reasons that the peninsula is a great place to live. So, new designs that are closest to pre-1910 designs will help to solve the energy crunch that is emptying our wallets and threatening the well being of Portland. This is not saying we should live in the past, it simply says that today we can not imagine living without a car, and these new Franklin designs reflect that.

If others believe that it is economically important to get the largest number of cars on and off the peninsula, then I ask them to think again. The Maine Mall is bankrupt, and this year’s 40,000 person turnout at the Old Port Festival suggests that the streets should be reclaimed by pedestrians more frequently. The real objective should be to get the largest number of people on and off the peninsula with the lowest cost of energy. This means creating high density housing for all incomes, improving mass transportation, and creating more bicycle and pedestrian travel networks. The new Franklin Street design that fulfills those objectives should be the most successful

I am not in favor of large tracts of green space because they might create a barrier rather than eliminate one. It will be expensive to maintain them and will reduce the availability of new housing and tax revenues. Deering Oaks is not receiving the care that it should receive and significantly more space will increase costs. It is better to have fewer, better cared for spaces, along with spaces like the Portland Trails. I am in favor of reconstructing or expanding Lincoln Park. If this becomes a reality, then try to save the tulip tree that is in the southeast corner of the park. You do not see many of them in Maine.

Most of the designs appear to be better executed on the side between Congress and Commercial where there is a very clear effort to be pedestrian friendly. The designs on the Marginal Way side seem to be less successful. Why roundabouts are being recommended escapes me. They cost about a third more than regular intersections to build, take up more space, and are more hazardous to visually impaired pedestrians. Roundabouts do not appear to be safer for bicyclists even though they eliminate the killer left turns. Many places that have roundabouts have had to build bicycle bypasses for safety. The only advantage I can see to roundabouts is that perhaps the FBI in Freeport could be moved to the center of the roundabout proposed near Whole Foods. That would be quite a Gateway! Portland ia a great place to live, without a doubt.

3 mm { 07.06.09 at 5:03 am }

While thinking about redesigning Franklin Street some thought should be put into removing load from the street. One way this could be done is by a connector to Washington Ave from 295 northbound. This would pull all the Munjoy Hill traffic that now routes onto Franklin Street at Marginal Way, up Fox and Walnut Streets out of that overworked intersection.

4 Meeting #15 minutes: July 1, 2009 — The Franklin Reclamation Authority { 07.20.09 at 7:22 am }

[...] Concept Designs [view concept designs here]Committee decides that it does not have expertise to rate various components of the concepts [...]

5 Meeting #15 minutes: July 1 — The Franklin Reclamation Authority { 07.20.09 at 7:39 am }

[...] Three Possible Concepts for Franklin Street [...]

6 Meeting #15 minutes: July 1 — The Franklin Reclamation Authority { 07.20.09 at 7:50 am }

[...] Concept Designs [view concept designs here]Committee decides that it does not have expertise to rate various components of the concepts [...]

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