Study finds no negative traffic impacts from Lyman's proposed hotelPlanning Board to review findings June 10
Rockland — A traffic study prepared May 30 by Maine Traffic Resources of Gardiner finds that Cabot Lyman's proposed 26 suite, $2.9 million hotel at 250 Main St. is not expected to generate any adverse traffic impacts.
The traffic study, contained in Scattergood Design's newest architectural renderings completed June 4, will be reviewed Tuesday, June 10 by Rockland Planning Board for possible action. The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. at Rockland City Hall.
During the highly contentious May 20 Planning Board meeting, with most members of the public speaking against the hotel's overall height, traffic impacts, and some design issues, board Chairman Erik Laustsen called the hotel's traffic plan its "weakest" component.
The plan involves a proposed valet pick-up and drop-off area for the hotel main entrance on Main Street, with valets then taking guests' vehicles to a 30-space parking lot leased from the Maine Department of Transportation. Entry to the parking lot would come from Union Street through the Mid-Coast Mental Health Center, with a second access route provided at 70 Park St. near Eastern Tire.
Maine Traffic Resources' study has determined that the hotel will generate 25 one-way trips during peak a.m. hours, and 25 one-way trips during peak p.m. hours.
"Generally, a project will have no significant impact on traffic operations unless it generates in excess of 25 trips per lane per hour," the study finds.
"This is expected to be a conservative estimate and actual trip generation will likely be much less," the study states in its summary. "This level of traffic, with a maximum of 16 lane hour trips, is not expected to have any significant impact on off-site traffic operations." Much of the traffic flow will involve valets taking guests' vehicles to and from the hotel.
During the May 20 Planning Board meeting, some making public comments expressed concerns that as many as eight to 10 cars could line up at the hotel, waiting for valets and hindering traffic flow.
Addressing the prospect of current public parking spaces being designated for hotel valet use, the summary states, "Ideally, two parking spaces in the vicinity of the hotel should be designated as 'short-term' to provide for possible guests arrivals and other businesses."
The study also finds:
- In terms of safety, there are no high-crash locations within the hotel study area;
- Adequate sidewalks are provided on both Main Pleasant streets;
- That a recommendation to move the Main Street crosswalk just north of Pleasant Street should involve relocation to the Pleasant Street intersection to allow better visibility;
- There are 15 public parking spaces within a one-block area including the Public Landing to help accommodate parking needs;
- That overall annual traffic volumes in the Park (Route 1) and Main street vicinities have been on the decline during a nine-year period studied from 2002 to 2011.
Scattergood Design has also made changes addressing overall hotel size, height, and design. "A roof deck is not currently planned," architects T. Scott Teas and Pamela Hawes wrote, adding there will be no public access to the roof. "Therefore, the egress stairs and elevator will stop at the fifth floor. Windows have been added on all elevations." And, "wall cladding has been changed to terra cotta on all sides."
The height of the habitable fifth floor is 56 feet, 6 inches, and elevator machinery is expected to rise more no more than 6 feet above the roof. Solar collectors, at 72 feet high, will be the highest point of the hotel.
Lyman, who owns Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding of Thomaston, has filed hotel plans under the name ADZ Properties.
Courier Publications reporter Larry Di Giovanni can be reached at 594-4401 x. 117, or by email at: email@example.com.