Bruce Hyman, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator
Alex Jaegerman, Planning Division Manager
Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG)
Stephanie Carver, GPCOGS Transportation and Land Use Planner
Carl Eppich, Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) Transportation Planner
Paul Niehoff, PACTS Senior Transportation Planner
About the Committee Background
Forest Avenue is a critical transportation and development corridor linking the Portland Peninsula to Interstate 295 and beyond to off-peninsula neighborhood centers. The focus of this project is the section of Forest Avenue between Park Avenue and Woodford’s Corner.
This section of the street has many great features including frequent transit service, high-density mixed-use buildings, the University of Southern Maine's urban campus, historic “auto row” buildings, Oakhurst Dairy, pre-World War II multistory commercial blocks at Woodford’s Corner, Hannaford Shopping Center with the city’s largest grocery store, attractive residential neighborhoods, abundant opportunities for infill development, and a wide right of way ripe for reconfiguration.
At present, this segment of Forest Avenue also faces significant issues and challenges. Auto-oriented land uses have begun to dominate the corridor, compromising its character as a destination and business district.
Pedestrian, bicycle, and bus accessibility have been diminished by vehicle speed, congestion, road width, and a lack of pedestrian amenities. Business viability has been hindered by a perceived lack of parking and residential density is inconsistent.
The goal of this study is to develop functional and safe pedestrian, bicycle, bus, and motorist access both along and across Forest Avenue - a key gateway corridor.
This study will also look at land use, leveraging transportation and other public investments to stimulate private redevelopment and infill of underutilized properties.