Surprising Solutions to Combat Congestion
How Greater Portland will be Developed in the Future Could be Changing. Get Involved!
Projections show that 70 percent of new homes and jobs in Maine over the next 25 years will locate in the Greater Portland Region, specifically in Portland and communities directly to the west. That amounts to approximately 35,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs! As the fastest-growing residential region in Maine, this area is already subject to increasing traffic congestion, decreasing traffic safety and the loss of rural character. All this will ultimately reduce the quality of life that has made this such an attractive relocation area for so many individuals and families.
The study has uncovered some surprising findings – findings that could provide opportunities for the real estate and developer community. The answer is more than just widening or building roads. In fact, the best answer may be to attempt to reduce the growth of traffic congestion with a minimal amount of new road capacity.
The study analyzed the potential effect of changing land use development patterns from the current low-density trend to a higher density pattern throughout the study area. Working with regional and municipal (Portland, South Portland, Gorham, Scarborough and Westbrook) planners, high growth areas were identified and assigned a customized housing/jobs mix.
The successful development of these sustainable high-growth areas will largely rely upon industry expertise and collaboration with local municipalities. Evan Richert, AICP, and Paul Godfrey, PE, both of whom are part of groundbreaking planning efforts in Maine, will describe study progress/findings and talk about the challenges that lie ahead in reshaping the future of development in the Greater Portland Region.
Members are encouraged to attend and participate in these discussions about this paradigmatic shift in future development.
More information can be found at www.gorhamcorridor.org.
Meet the Panelists
EVAN D. RICHERT, AICP - Evan Richert is a land use planning consultant based in Bangor. He recently retired from the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, where he was associate research professor in the community planning and development program.
His clients include state land use and transportation agencies, private developers, and the Town of Orono, for whom he provides town planning and economic development services. He serves as senior planner in two major transportation-and-land use corridor projects in mid-Coast Maine and the Portland metropolitan area. He also advised the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission on Plum Creek Timberland’s concept plan for the Moosehead Lake region.
He is former director of the Maine State Planning Office under Gov. Angus S. King and serves on the Board of Directors of Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
PAUL T. GODFREY, PE - Paul Godfrey is transportation planning/traffic engineering department manager in the Westbrook, Maine office of HNTB Corporation, and has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation engineering field. His responsibilities include both management and design of transportation projects.
Paul has been involved in a wide range of projects performing transportation planning, traffic engineering analysis and system design. He has also supervised planning projects that involved the development of computer volumes for model projections and route analysis. He is one of the primary transportation planners in the state now integrating land use planning into transportation planning.