Brighton Av., Deering Ave. and Falmouth St. Intersection Study: June 1, 2012 update

posted on June 5th, 2012

The City of Portland and PACTS are conducting a transportation and streetscape study of the intersection of Brighton Avenue, Deering Avenue and Falmouth Street. The goals of the study are to improve the safety and mobility for all users of the intersection including motorists, pedestrians, transit users and operators, and bicyclists. Because of its current configuration, the intersection is very inefficient and does not currently serve its users well. In addition, the intersection has been identified in previous University of Southern Maine campus master planning efforts as a very important location to establish an attractive ‘gateway’ or entrance to the campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

PrimaryGateways_2005USMmstrplan-300x225

As part of a recent campus expansion, USM contributed $250,000 to improvements to the intersection and its vicinity.

UBDFIS_PrimaryStudyArea_GoogleMaps-300x111

In addition to a potentially longer term recommendation for a new design for the intersection, short- term recommendations will be made that can be implemented soon after the study’s completion. These recommendations may include better signage, better striping and pavement markings, retiming of the traffic signals, and improvements to curb ramps at crosswalks to better meet accessibility goals. A portion of USM’s contribution for improvements is anticipated to be used to implement these short-term improvements.

 

The study was begun in February 2012. The consulting firm of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin was hired by PACTS to conduct the study. Two public meetings have been held to date. Meeting notes from these meetings can be found HERE (Meeting 1 PDFMeeting 2 PDF). At the second public meeting, held  in April, five alternative concepts were presented and evaluated that responded to comments made at the first meeting and that met (to varying degrees) the objectives of the study. A summary of the material presented at the second meeting – including drawings of the five alternatives – can be found HERE (Meeting 2 Summary PDF). All but one of the alternatives have the common element of removal of the segment of Brighton Avenue from Falmouth Street to Bedford Street.

 

Also presented at the second meeting were short video clips of traffic simulations that demonstrate how each alternative concept would operate during peak afternoon traffic periods with current traffic levels. For comparison purposes, the existing configuration – DO NOTHING – is also provided. These should be considered illustrative only.

 

The alternatives and the simulations available include:

Alternative 0 – Do Nothing

 

 

Alternative 1 – 5 Leg Signal with Bedford St Signal

UBDFIS_Alt1-TwoSignals_Apr-12-300x231

 

 

Alternative 2 – 5 Leg Signal with New Lane Configuration with Bedford Signal

UBDFIS_Alt2-TwoSignalsReconfig_Apr-12

 

Alternative 3 – 6 Leg roundabout

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Alternative 4 – 5 Leg roundabout with Bedford Signal

UBDFIS_Alt4-FiveLegRound-Signal_Apr-12 (1)

 

 

Alternative 5: 5 Leg Roundabout with Bedford Roundabout

UBDFIS_Alt1-TwoSignals_Apr-12-300x231

 

 

At the second public meeting and during subsequent discussions, it was stated that left turns from Bedford Street onto Deering Avenue in Alternative 5 would be desirable. The roundabout at this location could readily be reconfigured to allow for this movement, making it round instead of tear-drop shaped.

Of the five alternatives that have been assessed, three are being further considered as the preferred alternative:

  •  Alternative 2 – 5 Leg Signal with New Lane Configuration with Bedford Signal
  •  Alternative 4 – 5 Leg roundabout with Bedford Signal
  •  Alternative 5 – 5 Leg Roundabout with Bedford Roundabout.

The third public meeting is being planned to further discuss these three alternatives and get further public input before selecting the preferred alternative.

For more information, to ask questions, and/or to sign up to receive future notices of upcoming meetings, please send an email to Bruce Hyman at bhyman@portlandmaine.gov.