FALMOUTH — There is about a week to go until responses are due to a request for proposals for a concept plan for the northern end of Route 1.
On Tuesday, Town Manager Nathan Poore said six firms attended a preliminary bid meeting which was held last week. Bids are due Sept. 29 at 11 a.m., and the town so far hasn’t received any.
Nonetheless, Poore said, he is “quite pleased with the caliber of those firms.”
The town released the RFP at the end of August, and the Town Council will be updated on the process at its Sept. 26 meeting. Poore said the council will be asked to approve a supplemental appropriation for “whatever the selected firm’s negotiated terms are” at its Oct. 24 meeting, the same night a recommendation is scheduled to be presented.
The area in question is from the Maine Turnpike Spur north to the Cumberland town line. Proposals should include a clear vision for the area, according to the request, as well as infrastructure investments.
Poore said town staff will review proposals and conduct interviews, and the Route 1 North Committee will also provide feedback. Poore said that will all occur in early October.
The committee met Monday night and, in addition to the process, discussed general ideas for the Route 1 North Corridor.
Poore said these ideas spanned a wide range, but were not concepts of what the area should look like. Instead, much of the discussion focused on opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, as well as discussions about traffic, including where commuters to the area are originating, and if measures to calm traffic should be introduced.
“It sounded to me that a lot of interest would be on traffic,” Poore said.
Poore said there was also discussion about whether the district would be appropriate for housing.
“I think it was a really good conversation, well balanced,” Poore said. “I think it will help staff with better guidance on what the committee is expecting.”
Poore said the committee also discussed on how to reach stakeholders in the area, specifically employees of the businesses.
He said the hope would be eventually to gather these employees in one location to learn what the demand for public transit is, as well as what the demands for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations might be.
“We’re going to be in a major data and inventory collection mode the first few months of this,” Poore said.