LEWISTON — City officials don’t like suggestions that the city remove traffic lights along Lisbon and Bates streets but other ideas in traffic a study have some merit, City Administrator Ed Barrett said.

Barrett reported to councilors on the work of a staff committee that reviewed a 2013 study of downtown traffic patterns. The study was created by Gray’s Gorill-Palmer Consulting Engineers.

Barrett said engineers suggested eliminating five lights, three on Lisbon Street — at Chestnut, Pine and Ash streets — and two on Bates Street at Pine and Ash streets.

“The reason we don’t think that’s a good idea is that the current system seems to work well for pedestrians and motorists,” Barrett said. “The signals create traffic breaks that allows the public to cross the intersections.”

Other suggestions included reducing Cedar Street’s four lanes to two just before the Lown Peace Bridge, re-striping Bates Street near the Oak Street bus station to create dedicated bus and bike lanes, and broadening the sidewalk and landscaping at Ash and Canal streets.

Some of the suggestions have been included in city capital plans years down the line. Others call for repainting lines on city streets.

“That’s a low- or no-cost option,” Barrett said.

Councilors also said they were behind efforts to develop a southern bike path between Lewiston and Lisbon along the abandoned Lewiston Lower Rail Line.

The rail line runs along the Androscoggin River from Cedar Street near Lincoln Street all the way to Topsham.

Lewiston’s neighbors downstream along the Androscoggin River are behind the plan, Barrett said.

“Lisbon, in particular, has been pushing for this,” Barrett said. “They see this as a great opportunity to connect their city in a way other than a highway.”

Craig Saddlemire, a member of the Lewiston Auburn Bike Ped Committee, said it’s a long-term plan.

“It’s important that we get our council to weigh in and see what you think before we do any more work,” Saddlemire said.

Barrett said councilors should see a resolution about the path plan on their March 18 agenda.

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