How many times has it happened to you? You get off the Franklin Street exit 7 of I-295 and you are barely off the highway when you become stopped in traffic. It's this off-ramp that gives drivers the worst case of road rage, but something is finally being done about it.

We're not sure what engineers were thinking when they put a traffic light at the intersection of the northbound off-ramp and Franklin Street, but it backs up so much there I've had to wait for three cycles of the light to get through it, only to wait at another light just a football field's length away. Maybe it was a good idea at the time, but you  may have noticed that the traffic in Portland and on I-295 has grown exponentially.

Google Maps
Google Maps

According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine DOT and the City of Portland have a $5.4 million plan to fix things. Construction will begin in 2020 to redesign this madness by lengthening the northbound off-ramp and adding more travel lanes. They might also tweak that notorious traffic light with some modern technology that can better manage the flow of traffic in real time so you don't have to watch it turn red on you three times.

There will also be some improvements for pedestrian access as well with better sidewalks and crosswalks.

Unfortunately, these things take time and we've got to get through at least another year of rush hour bottlenecks at Exit 7. But hang in there. 2020 will be the dawn of a new decade of more peaceful and easy driving in Portland. Maybe.

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