2015-10-09 / In the Know

Gorham Road provides a vital connection

By Angela Blanchette
Special to the Leader

Sidewalks are available in limited areas of the Gorham Road corridor. (Courtesy photo) Sidewalks are available in limited areas of the Gorham Road corridor. (Courtesy photo) On Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Scarborough Town Hall, the town of Scarborough will begin a preliminary design process for the Gorham Road corridor (Route 114).

Town staff will gather ideas and information from residents to help shape the design and improvement plan for a two-mile stretch of Gorham Road from Wentworth Drive to Payne Road.

This section of Gorham Road, which handles more than 10,000 vehicles daily, is currently limited in bicycle and pedestrian facilities, has drainage and flooding concerns, and is very much in need of roadway resurfacing.

All of these ideas will be discussed at the Project Kickoff Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, where all are invited to attend and participate in this process.

Town staff is encouraging this exchange of ideas prior to the start of the preliminary design in order to help inform the shape and feel this project.

This capital improvement has the potential to be one the first Complete Streets initiatives by the town.

Complete Streets is a design approach that takes a very comprehensive view of transportation infrastructure by including design features to safely and comfortably accommodate all modes of travel, from automobiles to pedestrians, bicyclists and in some cases transit riders. This design approach is based on the philosophy that road design should be influenced by all users of the corridor. Scarborough is one of many communities considering and implementing Complete Streets in southern Maine.

This preliminary design process will take place parallel with a locally administered project through the Maine Department of Transportation for pedestrian improvements along Gorham Road, between Oak Hill and Sawyer Road, through the Safe Routes to School program.

The town of Scarborough is hopeful that this portion of work will be funded through the MDOT in their next round of funding so that the entire corridor can be designed and constructed in an integrated and uniform manner.

While some may view the Route 114 corridor as a way to get from Oak Hill to Payne Road, this section of roadway can be something greater for those in the neighborhoods it serves. It is not just a conduit though a place, but part of a place.

For more information, contact me at ablanchette@ci.scarborough.me.us or 730- 4043.

Angela Blanchette is town engineer for Scarborough.

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