The West End News
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Opponents Rail Against I-295 Widening
About 200 people packed into a conference room at the Clarion Hotel on Outer Congress Street on February 12th, most of them to voice their opposition to a proposal to widen Interstate 295 as it goes through downtown Portland. Among the groups opposing the plan were the League of Young Voters, the Portland Green Independent Party, and a group of students from the University of Southern Maine.
Peninsula City Councilors Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall have led the opposition to using federal funding for the project, preferring that money be spent on mass transit improvements, including the development of rail service from Portland to areas like Brunswick and Lewiston/Auburn. About 30 members of the League took a Metro bus from downtown Portland to the meeting location to dramatize their point.
The few people who spoke in favor of the widening cited issues of improved safety and the necessity of improved roads for motorists, who are still a great majority of the commuting public.