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In response to reports of speeding traffic along Route 24 and concerns of pedestrian safety crossing this road at the Main Street intersection to move pedestrians to our waterfront park, the town has partnered with the Maine Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Maine Department of Transportation to install temporary traffic calming and placemaking features including:
- A temporary crosswalk connecting the existing sidewalk and landing at the southwest corner of Main Street and Route 24 across Route 24 to the northeast corner of Main Street and Route 24 at the Three Robbers restaurant;
- A temporary landing in front of Three Robbers pub using 4-foot-long planters;
- A R1-6 sign in the center of the road; and
- Delineator gateways at all four corners of the intersection.
The installations will seek to slow motorist traffic to the posted speed limit and give pedestrians the safest directive and peace of mind as they navigate this intersection during our busy summer and fall months. The project is temporary but if well received the Town will have data to support applying to the Village Partnership Initiative (VPI) to fund a permanent solution.
Figure 1. Yellow circle indicates location of the installation.
Figure 2. Visual of the installation facing north on Route 24, just south of the intersection with Main Street.
We will use this project to gain feedback from the community on how a crosswalk will be received and get input on how to improve the potential for a more permanent solution.
Over the past decade the town has built up a network of sidewalks within our village district with a goal of bringing foot traffic to the heart of our commercial district and the Mailly Waterfront Park at the terminus of Main Street. However, speeding along Route 24 has been an ongoing issue in the community. The town has invested in and deployed a speed feedback sign north of the intersection, but more needs to be done to make pedestrians feel safe crossing the road.
With the kickoff of a multitude of summer events being hosted at the park, from weekly Saturday Farmers’ Markets, the Summer Sundays Concert Series, Open Farm and Studio Day in July, the Tour de Bowdoinham charity ride in August, and our annual Celebrate Bowdoinham weekend in September foot traffic to the park is at an all-time high. The town has hosted two site visits with Maine DOT staff in the spring of 2023 to review options for this intersection.
After staff participating in a Tactful Urbanism presentation and meeting with staff from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine the Town is taking the initiative to create demonstration project to introduce a temporary solution to get us through the end of the farmers’ market in October while we solicit feedback to consider in looking for a more permanent solution.
Maine DOT’s initial feedback on a permanent solution suggest elements such as a rapid flashing beacon, formal landing on the other side of the Main Street intersection to receive pedestrians with sidewalks extending on either side of the landing. There are funding sources available to work towards a more permanent solution and the survey data we collect on this project could be used to support the next step.
Figure 3. Birdseye view and description of traffic calming and placemaking elements