Recently, it was brought to my attention that City Council members are considering plans to make Howard Street to Mount Hope Avenue one-way, or even cut Howard Street in half making two dead-end streets.
While I sympathize with increased traffic flow in the area, as a resident of a neighboring street, I object to any moves that would limit access through Howard Street. Cutting off that street would merely congest traffic flow onto Fruit, Fern and Birch streets, also forcing more traffic onto Mount Hope Avenue out past Fruit Street School, and down to State Street.
Traffic east of Fern Street would be inconvenienced by a lack of access out to Stillwater Avenue, where turning left onto State Street by Eastern Maine Medical Center is nearly impossible especially during rush hour. State Street traffic, which is bad enough already, would nearly double.
I encourage City Council members to consider more reasonable solutions to traffic flow through the East Side “tree streets.” Instead of cutting Howard Street in half to make two dead ends, how about making a through street halfway down Howard Street extending parallel out onto Mount Hope Avenue behind WLBZ-TV?
Also, maybe extending Garland Street to curve out onto Mount Hope Avenue would allow for better access to Hogan Road and less traffic for Howard Street residents. Please do not shut down Howard Street to through traffic. It’s a bad idea that will only create more hazardous traffic for neighboring streets and schools.