Improvements planned for Portland's St. John, Valley streets

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PORTLAND — A $100,000 improvement plan for the St. John Street-Valley Street neighborhood is expected to begin later this year, pending approval from the City Council.

The streetscape improvements include new crosswalks, traffic islands, trees and more traffic signs. The city will also ask the state to reduce the speed limit on St. John Street to 25 mph. The current speed limit is 35 mph.

“Both those corridors are busy and there are concerns about speeding traffic,” Public Services Director Mike Bobinsky said.

The St. John-Valley Street neighborhood is a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses and in recent years the neighborhood association has come together to explore ways to improve safety, pedestrian accessibility and the overall residential feel of the neighborhood.

The city approved $100,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to make improvements and the neighborhood group worked with city staff and an outside consultant to come up with the plan.

“It’s been a great collaboration,” Bobinsky said.

Under the plan, C Street would become one way from Valley to St. John.

On St. John Street, the plan calls for modifying the intersection with Congress Street to one lane southbound for St. John Street and one lane eastbound (inbound) for Congress Street. The island on Congress at the intersection would be landscaped, crosswalks would be added at A Street and C Street, and medians would be added between Congress and A streets.

Valley Street would benefit from more visible speed limit signs and new crosswalks at A, C and D streets. A raised, landscaped island would be added at D Street to provide a boundary between residential and commercial areas, and a median would also be added at the intersection with St. John and Danforth streets.

Future plans include a sidewalk along the dog park.

The Transportation Committee was scheduled to meet May 18 to discuss the proposal and possibly send it along to the full council for approval.

“We’d like to start some of the improvements this construction season,” Bobinsky said.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or