2017-07-14 / In the Know

Pine Point transportation ideas sought

By Angela Blanchette Special to the Leader

The town of Scarborough planning and public works departments are hosting a workshop and public input session to discuss ideas for improvements to East Grand Avenue and the broader public infrastructure in Pine Point. We need your help. The public workshop will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 at Pine Point Fire Station located at 12 King St. in Pine Point.

As is evidenced when you drive, bike or walk in and around Pine Point, the road surface of East Grand Avenue and many of the side streets are in poor condition. Similar to the roadways, the existing sidewalks are substandard in many areas and are in need of improvement and expansion to safely and conveniently handle all the pedestrian activity in the area, particularly in the summer season. The town is looking to our complete streets policy to help shape this neighborhood.

While the concept of complete streets has been in existence for many years, the Scarborough Town Council endorsed a complete streets policy in January of 2016, which is an inclusive concept that can incorporate all forms of transportation depending on the context and location. As a beach community the complete streets concept could include bike lanes, enhanced sidewalks, transit stops, on-street parking improvements, streetscape and much more. As the town now plans for the designs of East Grand Avenue the transportation infrastructure will be considered in this perspective, similar to recent work done along the lower section of Pine Point Road, near the intersection of East Grand Avenue.

The existing drainage system in the Pine Point area is 1950s vintage and is inadequate in many areas to handle the runoff from the additional impervious surfaces created over the past 60 plus years. In addition to capacity issues, when the current system was designed there wasn’t consideration or sensitivity to treating stormwater and removing pollutants to protect the water quality and health of the marsh and our beloved Pine Point Beach. With the implications of climate change and more intense storm events, our current infrastructure and drainage system wasn’t geared to handle the new dynamics.

Given the outdated nature and deficiencies of East Grand Avenue, the intersection with Pine Point Road, and other local streets, we are formulating preliminary plans for needed improvements and upgrades.

One of the next steps in this process is to continue to gather feedback from the public on where we are starting and where we might go with this design process. We know that we should be looking to modernize the road infrastructure in a way that is safe, convenient and comfortable for motorists and incorporating transit, but also for all of the pedestrians and bicyclists that use and enjoy the area. We want to relate these infrastructure improvements to the setting and character of Pine Point and have the streets and public infrastructure better reflect the walkable, friendly and close knit beach community that Pine Point is to its residents, second home owners and visitors.

Given these broad goals and objectives, we need community members to come and participate in this process with us. These topics will be discussed July 18 at Pine Point Fire Station and we encourage you to join us and bring your ideas, knowledge and creativity to share and help us craft a plan to enhance the infrastructure in Pine Point.

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