LEWISTON — A petition aimed at derailing a summertime Lisbon Street repaving project is still valid even as city leaders work to negotiate a deal that will let the road project go on.

Lewiston City Council President Mark Cayer said the City Council is expected to discuss the issue at a their meeting on Tuesday, April 7.

City Administrator Ed Barrett said he did not know if the agenda item would be part of the discussion-only 6 p.m. workshop meeting or would be included on the City Council’s regular 7 p.m. meeting agenda.

“There is a possibility the council will take action,” Barrett said. “Right now, lots of people are talking to lots of other people about this.”

In a voice mail message, Stavros Mendros said he has talked with city representatives. Mendros started the petition drive and is the first signature on it.

“At this point, unless things get worked out with the council and we come to an equitable compromise — there is a good chance of that — the petition is sitting right there, waiting to be signed,” Mendros said.

City Councilors approved the repaving plan for Lisbon Street on March 3. Plans call for milling and resurfacing the street and repairing the sidewalks on either side of the road. It’s being funded mostly by the Maine Department of Transportation. Lewiston is expected to pay for about 10 percent of the $1.8 million project — about $180,000.

The plan expands beyond the road, with the city replacing street lights, adding trees and fixing up the arcade-stairway between Park and Lisbon streets, adjacent to Mother India Restaurant.

But the biggest controversy has been adding a dedicated bicycle lane to the street. No parking spaces would be removed with that work, but turning lanes would be removed south of Pine Street and the car travel lane would be narrowed north of Pine Street.

Councilors narrowly approved that idea by a 4-3 vote, and Mendros’ group is collecting signatures, hoping to collect 958 to force a public vote on the entire project.

Cayer said councilors currently have three basic options: They could send the project to a public vote right away, they could wait and let Mendros’ group continue collecting signatures or they could change the plan.

“There are options we can do, changes we can make without completely jeopardizing thing that are important to people downtown,” Cayer said. “At the same time, we recognize that there are community concerns down there.”

Work is scheduled to begin in May, depending on how the petition is settled.

Mendros said Wednesday he’s open to shared bike lanes downtown if councilors can come reach a nearly unanimous decision.

“I want them to come up with something they can all agree with,” Mendros said. “It does not have to be a unanimous 7-0 vote, but both sides need to agree to something. If it’s closer, I can live with it. If they can’t do that, then collecting 1,000 signatures is nothing.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.