The Mousam Promenade, a planned 10-foot wide multi-modal (pedestrian/bike) path around Number One Pond, took a step closer to fruition this week, when the City Council voted to accept a grant of $400,000 from the Safe Routes to School initiative. The funds are targeted toward the portion of the path along William Oscar Emery Drive and Riverside Avenue.
Safe Routes to School is a federal program that works to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children to walk and bicycle to and from schools. The goal is to get more children walking and bicycling to school, improve kids’ safety, and increase health and physical activity.
The plan for the Promenade includes replacing the roundabout at the bottom of Front St. with a T-intersection. This will make the road safer and more pedestrian-friendly, while also creating more green space. The Promenade will be created entirely in the existing right-of-way, with no property being taken.
Public Works Director Matt Hill told the Council that the original idea for the Promenade came from Lee Burnett of the Trails Committee. It is planned to be constructed in 2023 with funding from the city’s Capital Improvement Plan and other sources. The Planning Board will have opportunities to weigh in on the project as the plans are developed.
Two complete laps around the Promenade will equal 5K. It is anticipated that it will draw walkers, runners and bicyclists from the surrounding area to Sanford. The engineering consulting firm of Gorrill Palmer will do a parking study to identify where additional parking spaces could be created along the route.