WATERVILLE — The results of a nearly yearlong study to explore ways to improve traffic flow downtown and ensure there is adequate and convenient parking in light of downtown revitalization efforts will be aired Monday night at a meeting.

City officials are encouraging the public to attend the session, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at The Center at 93 Main St.

Among the top issues examined in the study is whether two-way traffic on Main Street, which existed many years ago, should be restored.

The Waterville Downtown Transportation Study presentation will include introductions, opening remarks, a technical presentation, a question-and-answer period and explanation of next steps, according to the meeting agenda.

The city, Colby College and the state Department of Transportation shared equally in the $102,000 cost of the study, which was done by Gorrill Palmer, an engineering consulting firm in Portland.

Earlier this fall, Gorrill Palmer sent concept ideas for traffic and parking to the transportation department for review, City Manager Michael Roy said recently.

He said Gorrill Palmer worked on traffic design all summer with input from the city and Colby.

Main Street traffic was changed from two-way to one-way in 1957, according to Waterville historian Bill Arnold. At the time, Arnold was chairman of the merchants division of the local chamber of commerce, which was made up primarily of downtown merchants. Many merchants opposed making Main Street one-way, but the City Council voted for it anyway.

The current traffic study was launched in February. Colby bought five buildings downtown and has torn down the former Levine’s clothing store on Main Street and the former Elks building on Appleton Street.

A boutique hotel is expected to be built on the Levine’s lot, while the Appleton site is now a parking lot.

Colby plans to demolish the former Waterville Hardware building and will build another structure in its place, expected to house offices and other uses.

Now the former Hains building at the corner of Appleton and Main is being renovated, and Collaborative Consulting is expected to move to its upper floors when the work is complete. Colby also plans to build a residential complex on the northeast corner of The Concourse.

The revitalization effort is expected to bring more people to live, work and shop downtown; and with all the planned development, the city wanted to review what effect those changes would have on vehicle and pedestrian traffic, parking and bicycling.

Several meetings were held earlier this year to discuss traffic issues and get input from businesses and residents for the traffic study. Discussion included how traffic changes could affect business deliveries and how parking would be affected. Consultants said a system of parking for the entire downtown would be developed.

Last year, Gorrill Palmer did a study of the intersection at Main, Spring and Water streets, just south of downtown, to explore how best to help improve pedestrian access from downtown to Hathaway Creative Center on Water Street and make the intersection safer for traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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