Chair Mazer and Honorable Members of the Planning Board:
The Portland Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee would like to offer the following comments with respect to the valet parking curb cut of hotel site plan application for 477 Congress Street.
We would like to register our concern for the Congress Street curb as a location inappropriate for car-oriented uses, particularly valet parking services, because this section of Congress Street is a crucial route for METRO and South Portland buses, emergency vehicles, and for thousands of pedestrians who walk along Congress Street.
The committee is supportive of the valet use on Preble Street and not necessarily opposed to the cosmopolitan sophistication that valet parking in front of a grand hotel suggests. However, the current site plan proposal would further reduce a relatively narrow sidewalk in order to accommodate a roadway widening with potential for conflicts. For such a use to be considered feasible, a wholly redesigned and more robust scheme ought to be put forth.
Portland Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
The Portland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is an ad-hoc group of Portland-area residents working to make the city and region a better place to walk, bicycle, and wheel chair. We advocate and educate on bicycle, transit, and pedestrian issues, including handicap accessibility, with support from the city’s Healthy Portland office, and in collaboration with other offices and organizations including the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Portland Trails, PACTS, the Department of Public Services and the Planning Department.