Topsham to discuss master plan for mall road

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TOPSHAM — The town is seeking input on a master transportation planning study for Topsham Fair Mall Road that is expected to be presented to the Board of Selectmen in November.

The 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, meeting at the Topsham Municipal Building will discuss whether transportation safety is a concern, if a more accommodating system for pedestrians should be created, and how the road might be made more appealing.

A presentation at the meeting will be followed by a community discussion on potential improvements for the mall area.

The Board of Selectmen last December unanimously approved spending $50,000 on the project, which stems from projects approved for the road last fall. Town staff found during the planning process that the town lacked a master planning effort when faced with new development that could have major impacts.

The master plan will encompass the stretch from Route 196 to Winter Street.

The study includes working with stakeholders – residential property owners and businesses, along with community members – to develop a plan and improve upon existing conditions. Next week’s meeting is part of that outreach.

One likely result of completing the master plan will be updating the traffic impact ordinance, which would have to go to Town Meeting for approval, Planning Director Rod Melanson said in an interview Monday.

“This is serving as a guiding document,” Melanson said. “… It’s kind a of a long-term implementation plan.”

Funding for the project is available through money rolled over from the prior fiscal year’s contracted services account, as well as the economic reserve accounts, which allow for infrastructure planning expenses, Melanson has said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Topsham planners will solicit feedback June 28 on a master transportation planning study for Topsham Fair Mall Road.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.