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Hotel parking, crosstown traffic on Portland committee's agenda

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Hotel parking, crosstown traffic on Portland committee's agenda

PORTLAND — The City Council's Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee meets Wednesday to discuss a range of issues including street parking around two planned Portland hotels.

The committee will consider changes in the allotment of parking spaces along Maple and Commercial streets to accommodate a Courtyard by Marriott hotel that would be built at 321 Commercial St.

The committee also will consider the proposed elimination of two spaces on Union Street as part of the Hyatt Place hotel project at 433 Fore St.

Both hotel projects include provisions for parking and received approvals from the Planning Board in January. Groundbreaking for the Hyatt Place took place last week.

In addition, the TSE committee will discuss guidelines for the next step in the proposed conversion of State and High streets to accommodate two-way traffic between Forest Avenue and the Casco Bay Bridge.

The committee will review a draft scope of work for a $150,000 feasibility study of the traffic change. The idea has already undergone study, including a December traffic simulation analysis that found the conversion would be feasible.

As major north-south routes across the peninsula, State and High streets both handled two-way traffic until 1973.

The Forecaster incorrectly reported that the Feb. 20 agenda would also cover the possible inclusion of the University Neighborhood in an initiative to overhaul the city's network of wayfinding traffic signs. That possibility may be considered at a later date as part of TSE committee's 2013 work plan, but won't be discussed Wednesday, councilor and Chairman Dave Marshall said.

The committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.