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South Portland panel to study Knightville traffic, parking

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South Portland panel to study Knightville traffic, parking

SOUTH PORTLAND — Problems with parking and traffic in Knightville will get a close look from a new city committee.

In their first meeting on Aug. 19, the committee of four business owners and five Knightville residents, appointed by Assistant City Manager Jon Jennings, will weigh options to improve traffic flow and relieve parking problems in the recently revitalized downtown area along Ocean Street.

Business owners on the committee are Alan Cardinal of Legion Square Market on Ocean Street; Bill Dunnigan of Cia Cafe on Ocean Street; Fawn Dunphy, owner of Chiropractic Healing Arts Center on E Street, and Mike Drinan, owner of Drinan Properties on Ocean Street.

Residents include Caroline Hendry, Melanie Wiker, Sarah Kirn, Linda Slater and Joe Walker.

The committee came out of a City Council workshop on July 14 where residents aired grievances about parking and traffic in the neighborhood. Residents, especially those on D Street, said problems started after part of the neighborhood was reconfigured during a major sewer separation project two years ago.

Businesses on Ocean Street successfully lobbied for a block of one-way northbound traffic and angled parking between E and D streets. But while the businesses have benefited from the change, residents say they've experienced a two-pronged problem.

First, lack of adequate off-street parking for business employees has reduced street parking for residents and created sometimes dangerously narrow travel lanes that don't provide enough space for emergency vehicles.

Second, the one-way pattern on Ocean Street has led to increased westbound traffic on D Street from cars and trucks circling back to Waterman Drive, Ocean Street and Cottage Road. 

Jennings said the committee is expected to suggest remedies to the City Council. 

Shelby Carignan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or scarignan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @shelbycarignan.