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Pedestrian access near Franklin Arterial/Back Cove

The Maine Department of Transportation is planning how to make traffic (car, bike, and foot, presumably) flow more safely and smoothly at Exit 7, off 295. But several groups, including the League of Young Voters, the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation, and the Franklin Reclamation Authority, are expressing disappointment that the most recent MDOT plan does not include a scheme to connect Franklin with Back Cove for pedestrians. 

"In numerous public forums the Portland community has identified this as an important access point between the peninsula neighborhoods and off-peninsula destinations, including Hannaford and USM," Markos Miller, who is active with the FRA, wrote in an email. "Portland's own ShoreWay Access Plan called for this connection back in 1989; 20 years ago!

"With all the other projects going on in this area (Bayside Trail, Franklin Street Redesign), this is a great opportunity for MaineDOT to take a step back and re-examine Exit 7 in a context sensitive manner that takes into consideration the overall vision for the corridor.

"We'd like to think that FRA's work these last few months would pay off with an Exit 7 design that works for everyone. However, MaineDOT has not been willing to share much information about the project lately and we're doubtful that they understand how important this is to our community."

They'll have a chance to find out on Monday (October 19, that is), at a public hearing at the Merrill Auditiorium rehearsal hall. MDOT representatives will be at the hearing, which is scheduled to run from 6-8 pm

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