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Portland Green Streets

About



Welcome to the Green Streets initiative for Portland, Maine! The aim of this site is to share information, resources, and get folks psyched to get around green.

What Is Portland Green Streets?

Portland Green Streets is non-profit and grassroots effort to encourage the use of alternative transportation in Greater Portland.  With the environment, public health, local economy, public safety, and community-strengthening in mind, we encourage sustainable transportation habits with two programs:

1.) PORTLAND GREEN STREETS DAY

Portland Green Streets Day is a monthly, city-wide day of getting around green.  It takes place the last Friday of every month.  On this day, we encourage folks to celebrate the commitment they’ve made that day to alternative transportation by wearing green, organizing participation in Green Streets Day with co-workers & community members, or talking it up!  Its one day out of the month to truly celebrate your choice to use alternative transportation — and great way to encourage others to join you!

2.) GREEN STREETS INCENTIVES

Portland Green Streets partners with local businesses to provide every day incentives to get around green.  Participants receive a membership card that can be used to redeem incentives offered at participating local businesses.  Incentives range from a free coffee to discounts on goods and services.  Visit our “Incentives Program” page for more information.

So, who qualifies as a Green Streeter?

It’s simple. A Green Streeter is someone who makes a once-a-month commitment to travelling green — and then uses that commitment to inspire their transportation habits the rest of the month.

You can walk, use your wheelchair, bike, carpool, take the bus, the ferry, the train, skateboard.  There are so many ways to get around green.

Your once-a-month commitment can happen on Green Streets Day, the last Friday of the month, or on a day that is most convenient to you.  Green Streets Day serves as both a monthly reminder and a supportive social network to help you make your commitment.

Green Streets is for everyone: retired folks, employed folks, kids in school, kids on vacation, stay-at-home parents, people who have the day off on Fridays, people on vacation, teens hanging out – EVERYONE.

Please sign in each month that you participate! (Before, on, or just after Green Streets Day) – it takes 1 minute. Signing in provides us with great collective green commuting data.

Participate:

What's New


PGS Social at MaST General Meeting – Oct. 25th

October 18th, 2011

Portland Green Streets is excited for the upcoming MaST General Meeting on October 25th. Please read the below announcement from MaST. PGS is considering this our October social, so we hope to see you there!

We Need Your Help to Coordinate Transportation Advocacy in the Greater Portland Region!

We don’t want the change of MAST to a more well-developed statewide organization to leave a vacuum of coordinated transportation advocacy in the Portland region.  Greater Portland is rich with individuals and organizations working towards sustainable transportation options.  With so much activity, it is crucial we are able to combine our advocacy efforts.  The health of our community, economy, and environment depend on our actions.  Do we want a transit rider union?  How can we get more funding for active transportation and transit?  How can we put pressure on local planning agencies and the towns in the Portland area to provide sustainable transportation options? On Tuesday October 25th from 6-8pm, please join us to:

·       Hear from the Livable Streets Alliance (Boston area) regarding their regional transportation advocacy work and structure
·       Meet representatives from local and state-wide organizations working on transportation issues
·       Discuss how to best coordinate transportation advocacy efforts in the Portland region
·       Define next steps for our local advocacy work
 
The venue will be Peloton Labs, at 795 Congress Street Portland Maine.
Please send an RSVP to silas.paul.arch@gmail.com to let us know you are coming!

Join in the October 2011 “Portland Business Commuter Challenge”!

September 30th, 2011

The October 2011 “Portland Business Commuter Challenge” is a friendly, grassroots competition among businesses where everyone wins. At stake are a handful of fun incentives, a chance to use and promote more sustainable transportation choices and an opportunity to make your business greener.

To play, businesses promote the challenge and encourage their employees to try biking, walking, carpooling or taking the bus to work in October. To be able to win, the walkers, bikers and riders then log into GO MAINE and record their participation. In the first week of November we’ll tally the results and name the winning commuters and businesses.

Take the challenge and see how many trips to or from work your employees can take commuting another way (bike, walk, carpool, bus). For more information visit http://gomaine.org/09/the-portland-business-commute-challenge/  or contact Erik West at erik@GOMAINE.org.

Know Your Rights – A Message from MaST

September 30th, 2011

As sustainable transportation advocates, Green Streeters should know the rights and protections under federal and Maine state laws that apply to car-free transportation. The Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MaST) is working to share this information with the public. For a summary, please read MaST’s statement below and visit their website for additional information.

Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation states: “Living car-free should not make you a second-class citizen.  Accessibility rights would ensure that individuals who cannot or choose not to drive can enjoy equal access to opportunities as auto-mobile individuals. Opportunities include shopping, educational facilities, public amenities, employment, recreational areas, and all other destinations.  While this concept of accessibility rights is rooted in existing legislation, there are currently no explicit legal protections or rights for car-free individuals.  In most of the United States, car-free individuals experience significant barriers to opportunities, practically necessitating automobile ownership.

It is important to know your rights and protections under federal and Maine state laws.  All transportation projects receiving federal funds are required to have a public participation process to ensure that the project is completed to title 6 and the National Environmental Policy Act.  Individuals and organizations’ participation in the transportation planning process is critical to making sure we have a sustainable transportation future.

The Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation works with decision makers to ensure that Mainers have access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable transportation. MaST strives to defend, expand and improve sustainable transportation options through advocacy, policy initiatives, and public outreach.  To learn more, visit http://www.mainesustainabletransport.com/

PGS Membership Cards and Business Incentives

August 26th, 2011

If you filled out our form to become an official PGS member, your card is in the mail and you are on your way to getting cool discounts from these local businesses for going green! Just walk, bike, carpool, take the bus or travel green in any way to one of these supportive businesses to cash in on discounts. Haven’t signed up for a membership card yet? Click here to get your very own PGS membership card for free!

Go to the  incentive page on the PGS website for full details on the program and the incentives offered by the below businesses. Check regularly as we continue to add local businesses!

    

#1 Local Sprouts Café                                                            

#2 Rosemont Bakery and Market

#3 The Dog Wash Etc.

#4 Maine Audubon

#5 604 Thrift

#6 Green Clean Maine

Time for School – Get Your METRO Student Discounts

August 26th, 2011

Summer is winding down and it’s almost time for school to begin.   METRO is again working with local colleges and schools to offer special discounts and programs. Check out the list below for what’s NEW this year.

College Students: From August 29 – September 10, METRO and South Portland Bus Service will offer FREE rides with ID for students attending the following colleges: Husson College, Kaplan University, Maine College of Art (MECA), Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), University of Southern Maine (USM), University of New England (UNE) and Salt Institute of Documentary Studies.  For more info, click here: http://www.gpmetrobus.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=147

Student Discounts (K-12): Students attending participating schools show their current  photo ID and ride the bus for $1 per ride. Regular fare is $1.50 (exact amount). For more info, click here: http://www.gpmetrobus.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=149

Sign up for your PGS Membership Card for Business Incentives

July 29th, 2011

Let’s make it official! Sign up to get your official (and awesome) Portland Green Streets Membership Card and start using it to get incentives at local businesses!

Portland Green Streets is very excited to announce the launching of the new PGS Business Incentives Program, bringing discounts and deals to our members for “going green”! A variety of local businesses in the greater Portland area have teamed-up with PGS and have agreed to offer specific discounts to Green Streeters when you present your very own PGS membership card.

To join the fun, all you have to do is:

  1. Fill out the form here to have your Portland Green Streets membership card mailed to you.
  2. Check out the businesses that will be offering incentives on our website.
  3. Travel “green” to participating businesses and get discounts!

We’ll be sure to mail you detailed instructions with your card, so you know exactly how to use it! By signing up to get a membership card, you will be automatically entered into a raffle to win a free Portland Green Streets t-shirt and other great prizes! The drawing will be held on September 1st!

Green Streets Spotlight – Woodard & Curran Employees Go Green!

July 29th, 2011

Each month Portland Green Streets interviews an individual or a group that uses sustainable transportation. By sharing our experiences we can encourage others to “go green” too. Please email portlandgreenstreets@gmail.com if you’re interested in sharing your own story! 

Today 11 employees at Woodard and Curran’s Portland office participated in Green Streets Day! Included in the group were at least two people who rode their bikes to W&C for the first time, and one woman who regularly carpools with people she found through the Go Maine site. Great job W&C, and thank you  Erik Osborne for organizing and sharing with us!

 

Voice Your Opinion – Public Meeting to Discuss Back Cove to Franklin Trail

July 29th, 2011

On August 3rd (6:00 PM) at the Merrill Auditorium, the MaineDOT will be holding a public meeting to discuss a proposed project which consists of a 10’ wide bike/pedestrian facility adjacent to Franklin Street between Marginal Way and the Back Cove Trail including pedestrian signal improvements. Please come and voice your opinions!

Maine Audubon’s Wildlife Road Watch Program – A Green Streeter Perspective

July 29th, 2011

Maine’s incredible array of wildlife often faces the challenges posed by our busy roads and highways.  When habitats are divided or blocked by roads, animals suffer and over time this can result in decreased populations of those species that require large territories or different kinds of habitats to find food, mates and shelter.  Maine Audubon’s Wildlife Road Watch Program employs a web-based, interactive map that allows participants to record their roadside wildlife sightings in order to help biologists and transportation planners better understand how and where wildlife get across Maine’s roads.  The information you submit to identify important crossing areas that need to be protected and to reduce mortality at “problem spots”. 

 That’s where we come in! Maine Audubon would like to invite Green Streeters to join them in making traveling on Maine’s roads and streets safer for wildlife and people by “adopting a road. Please visit www.maineaudubon.org/wildliferoadwatch to learn more. All participants will get a snazzy bumper sticker (to put on your bike or carpool verhicle J).

Ride Transit on Congress? Please Support the Congress St. Bus Priority Corridor!

July 11th, 2011

Transit riders, please make yourselves heard!  As many of you likely know, the City of Portland has been investigating new ways to improve transit mobility on Congress Street between State Street and Franklin Street but through the grapevine it sounds like the City hasn’t heard from many transit riders who support and/or have comment on the suggested alternatives.

Without transit riders’ support, it may be tough to encourage productive changes amidst any vocal opposition.  If you ever ride the bus along Congress Street – which most of us do – you know well what a delayed stretch that can be.  Making this section of Congress Street a Bus Priority Corridor will improve general safety and traffic flow – and reduce congestion and energy costs.

So please take a few minutes to e-mail the City Transportation Committee (City Councilors Donoghue, Marshall, and Suslovic) and Mayor Mavadones by July 18th to lend your support to making Congress Street a Bus Priority Corridor, and/or any thoughts you have about the suggested alternatives (fleshed out in greater detail here, starting on page 9)!  On July 19th the City Transportation Committee will be working on the question of whether to move ahead from Feasibility to Design (we say yes!) – and the terms and assumptions under which the City should do so.

Some background:

The Congress St. Bus Priority Corridor was a recommendation of the recent Portland Peninsula Transit Study – so this current study is working to ascertain the feasibility of a Bus Priority Corridor along a downtown portion of Congress Street, including methods for resolving any associated traffic impacts on adjacent streets.

The Bus Priority Corridor would potentially:

  • Run from the intersection with State Street to the intersection with Franklin Street.
  • Improve mobility within this core business district; Enhance transit operations, especially at peak commuting hours;
  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety; Result in additional parking and street amenities; and
  • Require careful balancing between traffic flow and turn movements on Congress and adjacent streets.

You can read more of an overview of the study on the City’s website and find more details on the findings and suggested alternatives for transit on Congress Street here.

For now, the most important thing is for the City to hear from transit riders as part of the process!