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Posted on: May 22, 2019

City Announces Improvements for Island Residents

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The City of Portland is announcing today several improvements for island residents in order to assist with parking, transportation, access and boarding of the ferry, and infrastructure improvements near the ferry dock on Peaks Island. These improvements are the result of concerns raised by Peaks Island residents, along with conversations with Casco Bay Lines staff and the CBITD board members, and the district councilor, Belinda Ray. 

“The parking and congestion issues faced by Portland's island communities are unique and real,” said City Councilor Belinda Ray, District 1. “The addition of 42 more spaces to the IR-zone with summer shuttle service will offer some relief as we continue to work with our partners at Casco Bay Lines and Metro to find longer-term solutions to the parking crunch. Additionally, the study of the Peaks landing area will lead to improvements that will increase public safety and facilitate a better flow of passengers and vehicles."

Remote Parking & Shuttle
The City will make 42 on-street parking spaces on the 295-side of Marginal Way (from the state park and ride lot to Cove St) part of the Island Residential parking zone for those Islanders who have a resident permit parking sticker. The 42 spots are two-hour parking spaces, but those with the island residential permit sticker will be exempt. The City will operate a disability-accessible shuttle during Casco Bay ferry operations. The shuttle will transport individuals parking in these spaces back and forth between Marginal Way and the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal.

The shuttle will operate seven days a week in conjunction with the ferry schedule starting June 15, 2019 until September 30, 2019 and have room for up to 14 passengers plus luggage. This will be a pilot program to help determine permanent enhanced transit solutions for the future. The shuttle will be free to the public during the pilot phase. Downtown transit tax increment financing funds will be used to pay for and operate the shuttle.

Welch Street Improvements & Ferry Passenger Experience
The City is committed to a full review of the ferry landing area along with improvements that will enhance the boarding experience at Peaks Island. The City will work with islanders, Casco Bay Lines and the MDOT on passenger queuing and passenger separation issues to ensure that passengers waiting to board the ferry to Portland can do so in a safe and orderly manner.

The City also recognizes the need to improve infrastructure along Welch Street and will work to improve the sidewalk and street experience so pedestrians and motor vehicles can access the ferry landing in a safe way. Additionally, the City will look at ways to improve the Welch Street parking lot area to see what improvements can be made to the entrance and exit, and potentially create more parking spaces, as well as how vehicles queue along Welch Street and Island Avenue. The city will engage in a public process to determine what works best for the island.

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