Bike-Ped Plan Adopted; Projects in the Pipeline

Portsmouth’s Planning Board has adopted a voluminous and detailed master plan for the city’s bicycle and pedestrian future. The long-term goal is to create a largely unbroken network of safe and useful bike paths and pedestrian walkways throughout the city.

The plan includes programs to be initiated (such as for bike safety), and more than 200 specific infrastructure changes (large PDF). Changes include revamped intersections, new bike paths, updated sidewalks and more.

Juliet Walker, city transportation planner, described some the first projects that will be undertaken.

  • Portsmouth’s end of the Hampton Branch Trail will be upgraded. State funding is available for wider sidewalks, traffic calming and better bike paths around Greenland Road and Route 33,  near access to the 9.7 mile rail corridor, which is upgraded for biking and walking.
  • Middle Street and Lafayette Road will see new bike lanes. City officials are finalizing the contract, which needs N.H. Dept. of Transportation approval. Project kickoff is expected in the fall.
  • Islington Street and Spinney Road will be targeted for better or new sidewalks.
  • Market Street will be redesigned, from I-95 to Deer Street. The “gateway” design, now expected to be unveiled in September or October, will mean wider sidewalks, bike paths, landscaping and possibly lane reductions.
  • Maplewood Avenue west of the railroad tracks will see bike lane and sidewalk improvements as part of the Maplewood bridge replacement project.

The bike-ped  plan will be presented to the City Council, but further approval is not required.

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