BANGOR- The future of Pickering Square has been up in the air for the past eight years.
On Monday night, with a narrow 5-4 vote, councilors voted for the bus hub to remain in Pickering Square.
More than 100 people were at the council meeting to share their thoughts on the matter.
“A bus hub and a green space are not mutually exclusive, so we can have both of those,” said Angela Okafor, a Bangor city councilor.
Councilors approved the plan that would move the bus hub closer to Water Street to create more green space in the square.
In addition to that, a warm waiting area and public restrooms will be put in.
“There’s some other options in the downtown that haven’t been vetted. People say there’s been two studies that say Pickering Square is the place to be, but the study we just did didn’t look at other downtown locations,” said Dan Tremble, a Bangor city councilor. “That was my reason for wanting to do the study, that they would give us some options. They didn’t even have data to say why Pickering Square was the best option.”
Other councilors disagreed, relying on the results of the two studies done on the location of the bus hub.
“I’m sticking with the results of the study,” Okafor said. “I’ve listened to everybody that’s wanted to talk. I’ve asked a ton of questions and I haven’t been able to find a viable reasonable alternative.”
Other areas considered by city officials included Exchange Street and Abbot Square.
“Thousands and thousands of peoples lives that are tied in with the quality of this bus system,” said Darcy Cooke, the organizer of Transportation for All. “We should be making it easier to use and not more difficult to use.”
Under the current plan, the changes in Pickering Square would be done in early 2021.