A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sundays on the Boulevard

Over the summer, a sewer construction project kept most of Baxter Boulevard closed to car traffic — but it remained somewhat accessible to bike and foot traffic. It became a popular place for people to recreate next to Back Cove, especially on nice weekends, and now that the construction is almost finished several organizations including Portland Trails and the Back Cove Neighborhood Association have asked the city to consider continuing the street closure on Sundays.

Tonight, City Council's Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee is meeting tonight to discuss the idea of closing Baxter Boulevard between Vannah Avenue and Payson Park every Sunday from 9am to 4pm. It has the city staff's support but it sure wouldn't hurt for a few ordinary members of the public to show up and tell councilors that they like the idea.

The meeting starts at 5:30 in council chambers on the 2nd floor. It's the 4th agenda item after some pretty basic on-street parking rule amendments that probably won't take very long — I plan to get there around 5:45.

Here's the full agenda for tonight's meeting, and here's a detailed description of the proposal [PDF document]. In a nice touch, city staff are proposing an exemption for food trucks to be able to park on the closed street to feed hungry joggers and cyclists.