LEWISTON — A new Dunkin’ at 420 Main St. will likely alter nearby intersections and on-street parking.

The City Council is expected to decide Tuesday whether to amend its traffic rules to eliminate on-street parking on one side of Main Street, between Elm and Curtis streets, to make way for the development.

Normand Boulay, who owns the Dunkin’ Donuts at 319 Main St., first came to city officials last fall with a proposal to relocate the business to a vacant lot at Main and Whipple streets. The business, he said, would be one of the chain’s “next generation” stores, with two drive-thru lanes, one for mobile orders.

In order for traffic to flow in and out of the popular chain, the concept plan calls for an extension of a three-lane section on Main Street, between Elm and Curtis streets, to accommodate the traffic movements, which would require eliminating the on-street parking on the west side of Main Street in that stretch.

The developer argues the changes would also address the intersection of Main and Whipple streets, which has been identified by the Maine Department of Transportation as a high crash location. However, neighbors have not been receptive to any elimination of on-street parking.

During a City Council workshop in September, it became clear residents of the neighborhood were largely opposed to the new Dunkin’ location. Neighbors argued it would strip away parking along the street that would hurt nearby businesses.

A council memo recapping the workshops said neighbor concerns included “inconvenience for tenants and clients having to walk farther to a parking space; pedestrian safety to and from the site; increased congestion related to left-hand turns; tenants and commercial tenants relocating due to lack of parking … simply relocating an existing business rather than developing something new, and potential negative impacts to property values.”

Boulay’s initial plan would have eliminated parking on both sides of Main Street.

Following the public meetings, Boulay abandoned the initial plan. The latest plan only removes parking on one side of Main Street. According to a council memo, he is seeking the city’s approval of the parking and lane assignment changes before proceeding with the development of detailed plans and studies.

Boulay has said the new design will not work at the current location, which has had its share of issues related to traffic and deliveries.

Council approval of the traffic changes comes with conditions, however, including site plan approval by the Planning Board and a number of street enhancements.

According to the council memo, the changes would eliminate eight parking spaces along the west side of Main Street between Elm and Curtis streets. The initial proposal was to eliminate 12.

On Whipple Street, the current proposal would widen the road by 8 feet, relocating the sidewalk to start west of the intersection of Main Street.

Lewiston Planning staff told councilors that while staff is “generally supportive” of the requested changes on the basis of traffic safety, the city also recognizes the parking concerns raised by adjacent property owners.

“The removal of some parking on the west side of Main Street would improve sight distance, the installation of a center turn lane on a stretch of Main Street would facilitate traffic flow and safety for the redevelopment of 420 Main St. and the widening of Whipple Street and adding parking spaces will help to improve access in an out of Whipple Street and should improve safety at a high crash location,” City Planner Doug Greene said.

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