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Appendix: Case Study Profiles

10. Maine - Gateway Route 1

Funding Sources and Amounts:

Years: Phase 1: 2004–2005

Agencies/Organizations Involved: Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), Maine State Planning Office (SPO), FHWA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and 20 Midcoast communities.

Geographic Area: Beginning in Brunswick at the junction of I–295 and extending 110 miles to Prospect.

Problem to Be Addressed

Route 1, as a regional arterial and economic lifeline for the midcoast Maine area, was reaching capacity as the population grew and development accelerated. While MaineDOT wanted to only address the transportation issue through traditional widening of the arterial, midcoast residents wanted a more collaborative approach that would focus planning on the corridor as a whole.

Summary of Project

MaineDOT worked with midcoast Maine residents on a collaborative corridor planning entity that integrated community involvement with proactive land use and transportation planning. The goal of Gateway 1 is to "preserve mobility while enhancing safety, transportation choice, economic strength, and quality of life along the corridor."34 In the first phase of the project, MaineDOT concentrated on establish- ing trust with the communities in the corridor so there would be support during the planning process. In the second phase, an action plan of scenarios and strategies was developed that MaineDOT and the communities could use to achieve the goals of Gateway 1. Currently underway is the implementation phase, helping communities adopt the Gateway 1 plan into local plans.

Objectives of Project

To create and implement a widely accepted regional land use and transportation plan that considers community values and is developed through a collaborative process that includes both transportation agencies and the public.

Type of Funding Used for Project / Plan

Population Served and Modes Served

Midcoast Maine residents; highway arterial, down- town pedestrians.

Project Details

Gateway 1 Background

"The Gateway 1 project arose out of a long and contentious history between the MaineDOT and the 21 communities in the Midcoast Maine region.... [R]apid development in the corridor led to increased traffic congestion and truck traffic, especially during the summer tourism months. When MaineDOT responded to these issues with the conventional solution of widening U.S. Route 1, the towns reacted adversely; and several confrontations occurred.... Conflicting opinions about the corridor became evident during the state-sponsored Regional Transportation Advisory Committee processes, which solicited advice from communities on how Maine should invest its transportation dollars. The Midcoast region committee suggested that MaineDOT develop a comprehensive plan for the corridor instead of reacting to "spot" problems. In response, MaineDOT initiated the Gateway 1 pro- cess - a long-term strategic planning project for the Midcoast Route 1 region that sought to find a way to combine municipally-based land use and state-based transportation planning."35

Phase 1

"Phase 1 of the initiative focused almost exclusively on trust building with the communities, and develop- ing a collaborative framework for the corridor vision, plan, and implementation."36 In 2004–2005, the con- sultant study team (led by HTNB) and MaineDOT held more than 50 community and larger regional meetings to educate the public about all aspects of the transportation project development process, surveyed the corridor through a visual assessment, and created a basic land use, transportation, environ- mental, and community inventory. "The goal for this extensive public outreach was to restore trust in the agency and among the towns in the corridor."37 At the end of Phase 1, the towns in the corridor showed that trust had been established as all 21 communities signed separate memorandums of understanding (MOUs). "These MOUs created a formal partnership agreement with MaineDOT, documented the purpose of the strategic corridor plan, identified the roles and responsibilities of all the signatories, established a corridor-wide decision-making and public involvement process, and agreed on how to identify and address local and regional issues."38

Phase 2

Phase 2 continued the involved public engagement and focused on detailed data gathering and analysis for the corridor plan to develop alternative corridor scenarios and priority strategies to achieve the goals of Gateway 1. It began in 2005 and continued through 2009. Intensive public participation con- tinued in Phase 2 with creation of three groups to provide different levels of feedback throughout the process.

Action Plan

The Gateway 1 Action Plan developed out of Phase 2. The plan outlines future development patterns that consider transportation system impacts, describes the preferred scenario of a transit-oriented corridor, which achieves the goals of Gateway 1, and presents the steps to develop that scenario into reality. One of these steps includes a critical interim pattern, a steppingstone to help communities on their way to transit-oriented corridors, called community-centered corridors. Thus the action plan considers fully the capabilities and goals of each community.

Implementation of the action plan is currently under- way to get communities to sign the startup agreement and support initiatives in the plan. Communities whosign startup agreements also appoint Implementation Steering Committee members who will help shape the Corridor Coalition, the decisionmaking group for local and regional transportation project prioritiza- tion. At publication time, 16 of the 21 towns that signed MOUs had also signed startup agreements.

Livability Principles Promoted by Project

Challenges

  • How do the communities institutionalize the decisions that are developed in Phase 2 and included in the final plan?
  • How does the Implementation Steering Committee ensure that, as individual communities implement strategies from the action plan to address their specific interests, the regional vision and goals continue to be met?

Successes

  • The willingness of MaineDOT to dynamically change its approach for creating transportation solutions to one that was col- laborative with the localities has created a multidisciplinary work environment that uses consensus building and negotia- tion skills to balance transportation, environment, and neighborhood development.
  • MaineDOT's patience and persistence to create trust with the communities and between the communities, as well as its resistance to rush the process to follow a schedule, was a process that all agreed was a wise investment in time and resources.
  • The action plan that was produced is transparent in detailing why a transit-oriented corridor was chosen as the preferred scenario, and this pattern meets the land use, transportation, and community goals that were voiced at the beginning of the Gateway 1 process.
Promotion Livability Principles
F Increase transportation choices
P Promote affordable housing
  Enhance economic competitiveness
F Support existing communities
  Coordinate Federal policies and leverage investment
F Value communities and neighborhoods

P: Partly Supports
F: Fully Supports

Perspectives on Implementing the Project and Its Impacts

Project Status

As of early 2010, the status of the project is as follows:

Implementation phase continues.

Applicability of Lessons Learned to Other Projects or Challenges

Investing in a concentrated public involvement process to build trust between government agencies and the public can lead to widely accepted results.

By ignoring time constraints and focusing on educat- ing the public and eliciting feedback, the project team was able to produce an integrated land use and transportation plan that was uncontested.

Roles of MPOs / DOTs and Policy / Plan Outcomes

MaineDOT worked together with midcoast Maine residents on a collaborative corridor planning entity that integrated community involvement with proactive land use and transportation planning.
MaineDOT's patience and willingness to work with and educate the public resulted in a plan that was widely accepted.

For More Information

Sources and Other Resources:


34 Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 86 Final Report, Corridor Approaches to Integrated Transportation and Land Use. (June 2009). Requested by: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Planning. Prepared by ICF International. Accessed on 02/03/2010. Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/archive/notesdocs/NCHRP08-36(86)_FR.pdf.

35 Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 86 Final Report, Corridor Approaches to Integrated Transportation and Land Use. (June 2009). Requested by: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Planning. Prepared by ICF International. Accessed on 02/03/2010. Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/archive/notesdocs/NCHRP08-36(86)_FR.pdf.

36 Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 86 Final Report, Corridor Approaches to Integrated Transportation and Land Use. (June 2009). Requested by: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Planning. Prepared by ICF International. Accessed on 02/03/2010. Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/archive/notesdocs/NCHRP08-36(86)_FR.pdf.

37 Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 86 Final Report, Corridor Approaches to Integrated Transportation and Land Use. (June 2009). Requested by: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Planning. Prepared by ICF International. Accessed on 02/03/2010. Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/archive/notesdocs/NCHRP08-36(86)_FR.pdf.

38 Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Project 8-36, Task 86 Final Report, Corridor Approaches to Integrated Transportation and Land Use. (June 2009). Requested by: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Planning. Prepared by ICF International. Accessed on 02/03/2010. Available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/archive/notesdocs/NCHRP08-36(86)_FR.pdf.

Updated: 01/03/2014
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