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Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
town@town.falmouth.me.us
(207) 781-5253

 

Middle Road Project 1st Public Meeting Minutes, February 27, 2008

Skip Varney, Director of Parks and Public Works;
Jay Reynolds, Assistant Director of Parks and Public Works
Mike Millett, Millett Associates
Public Participants (15), (some also representing other residents who could not attend)


Skip Varney:
Introductions, welcomed the public for attending the meeting.  Explained the phases (bridge to Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Hill to Ledgewood).
Explained Town policies and goals (bicycle and pedestrian master plan).
Specifically detailed how Middle Road ties into those policies, and how there is flexibility to what type of pedestrian amenity can be installed.
Public:
Question whether drainage is part of the project.   Resp.: Yes.
Mike Millett:
Explained the existing conditions plans which show pavement, right-of-way, utility, building locations, and so on.
Public:
Are sidewalks proposed? Resp.: That is to be determined as part of this public process.  
Who would maintain it?  Would it be similar to City of Portland’s system?  Resp.:  The maintenance is not determined.  Current Town policy is that only the business districts are cleared in the winter.  There is a larger policy decision that needs to be looked at with regards to this.  Falmouth does not have an ordinance like Portland where the residents are responsible.  Staffing, resources, and budget, are all factors on this subject.
Public:
Suggested a paved shoulder in lieu of curb and sidewalk.
Jay R.:
Noted that there is approximately 28’ of existing pavement already, and that widened paved shoulders would have minimal impacts as far as construction and right-of-way disturbance is concerned.  Also, the striping of white paint lines as part of this project will be an improvement to pedestrian and bicycle safety (currently, there is no striping).
Public:
Commented that Route 9 is highly used by bicyclists and that the demand for a sidewalk may not be present at this time.  Thus a paved shoulder with dual purpose may be better suited for these sections of Middle Road.
Public:
Mentioned that, with 2 children, they would like to see a safer road.
Public:
Mentioned that Middle Road, north of this project, has paved/striped shoulders and feels more comfortable riding/walking in this area as a result.
Public:
Can stop signs and/or speed bumps be added on Middle Road?  It was explained that stop signs can actually increase speed/acceleration in some areas.  Speed bumps have their downside as well.  Also, Maine Department of Transportation would review these types of proposals.
Skip V.
Asked for a show of hands, who would like to have sidewalks?
4 were for, and 8 were against.
Public:
Has drainage problem across from large culvert crossing.  
Mike M.:
Noted the location and will incorporate into design.
Public:
Concern about wetland impacts/filling within the natural wooded drainage area.  Resp.:  The project will not go beyond the right of way and these areas will not be negatively impacted, only improved by correcting some erosion issues.
Public:
Asked:  What is the process to have the speed limit lowered?  Resp.:  This would need to be filtered through the Police Department, but the State of Maine (Department of Transportation), is the regulatory entity on setting speed limits.
Public: 
Mentioned that they have drainage issues in back yard, which results from drainage upstream (Pleasant Hill Road).  Resp.:  Town cannot enter private property to fix, however, it may be possible to provide a storm drain pipe (stub) to the right of way line, so that the problem could be corrected by the homeowner.
Public:
Is sewer extension part of the project?  Resp.:  No.  Currently, the Town does not have a capital plan for sewer extensions and that private development is the only driving force behind sewer extensions in Falmouth.  More information can be provided (from the Wastewater Dept. Superintendent) if needed on that process.
Public:
Noted that they have standing water/drainage issue in driveway apron.

Mike M.
Asked for location and noted it so that he can incorporate a remedy into the design.
Public:
What is the timeline?  Resp.:  The tentative timeline is to start the design and hold a second public meeting on March 26th.  If all goes well, final design could occur after that, then advertise, bid, award contract, and begin construction spring/summer of this year.
Public:
Can a ‘Go Slow- Children’ sign be installed?  Resp.:  Past observations have shown that these signs are ignored and have little to no affect.
Public:
Expressed concerns about speed.

Mike M.:
Explained that he’s been engineering roads for Falmouth singe 1995 and that traffic speed is a universal issue.
Jay R.:
Also explained that the Town does traffic speed studies before and after a project to show that a new road does not increase the speed.  Also that the Police Department is willing to do radar if needed.
Public:
Asked about access to driveways during construction.   Resp.:  Access is provided almost continuously during construction.  Only when a driveway is being crossed with new piping, would a driveway be in-accessible.
Skip V.
Reiterated the proposed timeline, thanked everyone for attending, and adjourned.



 

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