Rockland community group seeks help to upgrade Camden Street

By George Chappell | Jan 24, 2013
Photo by: George Chappell Harbor Plaza sign on Camden Street in Rockland is a familiar landmark on the commercial strip.

Rockland — An advisory group concerned about design and traffic flow along Camden Street from Maverick to the Rockport town line and beyond wants to study how best to improve the commercial strip.

The Rockland Economic Development Committee, working with Friends of Midcoast Maine and local residents, is developing a community plan for the northern strip.

The two groups have worked since June to identify common community values, evaluate economics and tax benefits of the strip, assess the walkability of the area and swap views with property owners to develop ideas for redevelopment.

Included in the study to be developed will be ways to improve car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Part of the scope would increase of real estate values and reformation of Camden Street as a gateway to the downtown, a benefit to the adjacent neighborhoods, and the city as a whole.

The groups envision four sites along the route that would reflect different kinds of land use, according to a REDAC request for proposal.

In October, the groups went on a long walk on the strip and came up with a vision for the design of the proposed changes. Led by Dan Burden, executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, the 15 or so people who participated saw new ideas for safety, traffic flow, community health, beauty and attractiveness and social interaction, according to the Walkability Audit Report.

All part of the Camden Street Vision Project, a six to 12 month community process, the effort is a way for group members and residents to envision a new direction for the area.

Some of the suggestions from residents to the group along the walk included construction of roundabouts at Maverick, Fales and Philbrick streets, Waldo Avenue and the Home Depot and Walmart light. The intervals between them would slow traffic and prohibit left turns when leaving and entering Camden Street across the opposite lane.

Other suggestions were extending the harbor trail and bringing it to Camden Street and bringing the sidewalk all the way down Camden Street.

There was even a suggestion that Fuller Automobile might be a good spot for a farmers market in the lot.

The funds allocated for the project to be paid to a consultant will total $20,000 and will include all expenses and reimbursables. There would be an option to add $5,000 for up to two sites in Rockport on Camden Street.

A submission for a proposal should include a letter of transmittal signed by an authorized representative of the respondent firm and addressed to Jane LaFleur, executive director, Friends of Midcoast Maine, 5 Free St., Camden, ME 04843.

Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 117 or by email at gchappell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

 

Comments (4)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 28, 2013 08:35

Small town America seems to be leaving Maine. With big bucks widening our roads to turn us into giant intersections, the small town feeling will be gone for good. I think we need to stop paying people to show us how to be a metropolis with confusing one-ways and turn-confusing lanes. Remember that the economy is being built by retired seniors. You were warned. Don't cry when it is too late to preserve our smallness and uniqueness.

 Mickey McKeever 



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jan 26, 2013 08:09

A city that has enormous potholes in the streets with brick crosswalks and sidewalks while removing parking spaces. Hmmm. Priorities?  May be they should have some other focus when our economy is going to the outhouse. They could be looking forward to the Farnsworth expanding to the North End, John. There must be some other non-profits they can encourage to move to town to force us "natives" to the reservation a little sooner.



Posted by: john bailey | Jan 25, 2013 15:58

They will need to hire somebody to remove the tumble weed once Wal Mart is gone!



Posted by: Cameron Kilton | Jan 25, 2013 10:40

4 lanes and synchronized traffic lights would be a great start



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