BANGOR – Members of Transportation for All gathered Thursday to discuss why they support the proposed redesign of the Pickering Square Bus Hub.
“It’s by far the best location the city of Bangor actually has,” said a member of Transportation for All.
Thursday’s meeting came after a workshop held on Monday for city residents to share their opinions.
Some ideas included a warm indoor waiting area, more green space, and a staff presence at all times. Others want Pickering Square to be a pedestrian-only gathering space, moving the bus hub elsewhere.
“The city spent $70,000 to look at 16 sites and a very detailed and systematic study of 110 pages. It was a very public process and there’s ample opportunity for input,” said Jack McKay, director of Food AND Medicine.
What should be done with the space has been up for debate since 2012.
“In that span of time, eight years, there’s been two separate studies, countless hours of city staff time, volunteer time, our time, people looking at what the different options are for the bus hub and it always comes back to Pickering Square,” said Darcy Cooke, organizer of Transportation for All.
People who do approve of redesigning Pickering Square said this is holding up other projects like upgrading the buses and adding designated bus stops.
However, there are people who don’t approve of the project.
“When you look into the future at 21st century transportation you’d like to think there would be a place where you can bring several different modes of transportation together. So buses, yes, but not just buses,” said Niles Parker, the executive director of Maine discovery Museum.
“Pickering Square will only just hold buses, there’s no room for expansion,” he said.
There has been talk about moving the hub to Union Street near the airport.
Parker said a new area would allow the city to move forward.
“It’s about creating the best transportation option for Bangor not just settling on a space that’ll get us by for a little while,” Parker said.
The Bangor City Council will vote on Jan. 27 on whether to move ahead with the redesign.