Letter: Commercial St. should be Portland's top priority
Unlike Edgar Allen Beem ("High and State, it's a 2-way street"), I walk a lot all over the Portland peninsula.
I find crossing either High or State streets at intersections with only a painted crosswalk to be easy enough, even if, unlike nearly every other street in the city, I have to wait for traffic rather than traffic waiting for me, as required by Maine law. There are breaks in traffic on both streets often enough most of the day that crossing safely is not a problem. I see no reason to foul up traffic by making those streets two-way. Some sort of traffic calming (as speed humps are known) would be a good idea, as speeds often exceed that of other residential areas.
However, I see no reason for the four-lane section of Spring Street. It starts and ends in two-lane streets, fortunately saved from urban renewal. The four-lane section should be reduced to two lanes, while taking into account the Civic Center traffic situation, so that it more closely matches the streets leading into and away from it.
Franklin Street, while it does go someplace, should remain four lanes wide, but, it too, could be more neighborhood- and pedestrian-friendly by eliminating the median and adding sidewalks along its length.
However, before any roadway changes are funded, Commercial Street west of the Casco Bay Bridge needs to be repaved – it is in horrible condition and is dangerous to vehicle axles, wheels, and shock absorbers.