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Portland Green Streets » Photos and Notes of Green Streeters

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Sign In Here – Green Streets Day, Friday October 29th!

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Green Streeter Ian Riddell, Halloween 2008

Green Streeter Ian Riddell, Halloween 2008

Special congratulations to Denise Brautigam, Nan Cumming, Emma Holder, and Rebecca Minnick for participating in both World Car Free Day and Green Streets Day last month – and winning new PGS t-shirts!

So this month come on out for Halloween on Green Streets Day (this Friday, October 29th)!

Throw on a crazy outfit, a mask, or that costume you’ve been toying with wearing but haven’t had the gumption – as you walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or stay/work from home on Green Streets Day.  Please send us a photo if you do so – special credit!

And costume or no, if you get around green this Friday, please take  30 seconds to  sign in here.

For extra fun on a bicycle – for all ages and abilities – decorations encouraged but certainly not mandatory – check out this sweet video below of Portland Slow Riders bike parade ride every First Friday Art Walk (last one of the season is Nov. 5th – “Hunting Season” – leaving 7pm from Monument Square (bring lights!) – see Facebook group “Portland Slow Riders” for more information.)

Sign in for Green Streets Day, Friday, August 27th!

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Back to School with METRO

Back to School with METRO

We’re living the last golden days of a glorious summer.  Before you – or the kids – head back to school, take advantage of one day to try a different mode to get your usual destination(s)!

And please take 30 seconds to  Sign in Here for Green Streets Day – Friday, August 27th.  Sign in now (and every month!) if you plan to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or telecommute this Green Streets Day.

For special treats for Green Streets Day participants, visit our Green Streets Freebies & Discounts page for offers of free food and drink and various area discounts that day.

Sign in for Green Streets Day, Friday, July 30th!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Green Streets T-Shirt Printing at Munjfest - smallerGreen Streets on the Streets

This in from Summer 2010 Green Streets intern, Michelle Boisvert:

“Munjfest [the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood festival that this year celebrated the bicycle] was a blast! Green Streets, the Portland Bike Commuter Meetup, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) teamed up to offer alternative transportation and bicycling advice, free bike tune ups, Green Street T-shirt stenciling, and a plethora of information about what each group is up to. Thanks to Jim Tasse from BCM, who brought a bike stand and equipment to provide the tune-ups – they were in high demand! Thanks, too, to Green Streets volunteers Maryann Welsch, Kevin Donoghue, and Jake Hoffman for helping out at the table! We met a lot of great people and printed a lot of Green Streets shirts. They’ll look great out on the street this Friday. One Green Streeter said she planned to wear her Green Street shirt on the days that she walks to her elementary school.”

Please take 30 seconds to  Sign in Here for Green Streets Day – Friday, July 30th.  Sign in now (and every month!) if you plan to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or telecommute this Green Streets Day.

For special treats for Green Streets Day participants, visit our Green Streets Freebies & Discounts page for offers of free food and drink and various area discounts that day.

Meet the PGS Summer 2010 Intern – Green Streeter Michelle Boisvert!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Michelle Boisvert photoGood day, Green Streeters!  My name is Michelle Boisvert.  I’ll be spending the summer working for Green Streets, and I wanted to introduce myself to you all and tell you a little about myself.  I moved to Portland in 2006 to be closer to good friends, to go to college, and because this city completely charmed me upon visiting — which says alot considering I moved here from Charm City: Baltimore, MD.  The parks, the street trees, the great local businesses, the trails system, the fact that one can live on the East End and walk a few blocks to a beautiful public park, trails into and out of town, accessible water, and A BEACH (?!) while living in a city – I’ve been sold on Portland.

I’ve been working at Preble Street Resource Center for the last four years and doing farm work the last couple of summers.  In May, I graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelors degree in Environmental Policy and Planning.  This summer, while I’m fulfilling the internship requirement for my degree program, I’ll be doing a little bit of everything — including helping with a signage and mapping project at Portland Trails and working on a community visioning project in the Town of Waldoboro.

I should probably tell you about my own green streeting.  I sold my car in 2004 and have been getting alot of exercise ever since.  Mostly, I’m a year-round bike commuter, but I love a good spontaneous conversation with other public transit riders in icy weather or when I have too much to carry.  (Although, I have a knack for bungee cords and have transported everything from cross country skis to camping gear on my bicycle)  I’ve found alot of creative ways to get around Portland and beyond including the bus systems, a temporary car share for an out-of-town job, carpooling, Go Maine’s services, the Portland’s U Car Share program, and USM’s shuttle buses.  If you’ve been curious about using any of these modes of transportation, feel free to ask me anything.  My email address is greenstreetsvolunteers@yahoo.com.

I’m excited for this opportunity to participate in the excellent work Green Streets has been doing to increase awareness for the many modes of transportation we have available, promote healthy and active lifestyles, and create a more vibrant, people-friendly city — by getting folks out from behind the steering wheel!  Some of the work I’ll be doing for Green Streets will include:

  • surveying our local business partners about the our incentive program
  • developing and implementing improvements to the program to make being a Green Streeter even easier and more convenient
  • developing and implementing the “This is a Green Streets Business” decal project
  • recruiting new local business sponsors.

Your input is welcome!

I’ll be hanging out at the North Star Cafe on July 20th from 5:30 -7:00 for Green Street’s monthly volunteer social.  Come by to say hello, find out more information about Green Streets & how to get involved, or come share a cookie.  Happy Green Streeting, All, and I hope to see you on the streets on the last Friday of this month!

Photos and Notes from Green Streeters

Monday, January 25th, 2010
Green Streeters and Portland Bike Commuter Meetup members John Brooking and Ian Riddell - pause in downtown Portland, all lit up for the holidays

Green Streeters and Portland Bike Commuter Meetup members John Brooking and Ian Riddell - pause in downtown Portland, all lit up for the holidays

It’s been a few months since we last posted news from some of our awesome Green Streeters out there.

(And thanks to the 21 hearty – and/or cozy! – souls who signed in for December’s Green Streets Day (aka Christmas Day!) As Ian Riddell of Portland put it when he signed in:

“I won’t be at work, but I won’t be a single occupancy motor vehicle either.”

Jaclyn  Jacobson writes:

“I commute every day from the Rosemont area of Portland to Mercy Hospital’s Westbrook location, then to the Mercy on State Street, and back.  I was happy to see U Car share come to Portland – I was a devoted ZipCar member and unofficial promoter when I lived in Boston – just waiting for there to be a U Car location in my neighborhood!”

By John Patriquin

By PPH Staff Photographer John Patriquin

Check out the latest on Green Streets sponsor U Car Share in this Portland Press Herald article

- and featuring Green Streeter Alex Landry – photograph at right with his U Car membership card!)

Lisa Fernandes of Resilient Homes in Portland writes:

“We’ve re-designed our lives to drive less (60% fewer miles per year than 4 years ago) for the whole household.  Since we both moved our businesses “in-house” we technically commute about 10 feet (both self-employed now).

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes

The driving we still do (about 40% of the past amount) relates to personal use of the vehicles and visiting clients in various parts of Maine. My primary clients are in the Belfast area so I’ll be looking at using the bus for that all winter as I only go up once or twice a month and do the rest of the work from home.”

Meredith Collins of Portland writes:

Meredith Collins anticipates a warm bus!

Meredith Collins anticipates a warm bus!

I documented a recent bus trip with a photo and commentary on my Lazy Green Commuter blog.  It wasn’t technically Green Streets day, but it was close, and it was certainly GS-inspired.

A friend of Green Streeter Jim Tasse – Jim DiStefano – posted this excellent haiku to Tasse’s Facebook page:

Studded tire grip firm,
the hazard road before you,
ride now with aplomb.

Elliott May on Climate Ride - NYC to DC

Elliott May on Climate Ride - NYC to DC

Elliott May of GreenDrinks and Reverb fame shares these photos from the Climate Ride he did in September from New York City to Washington, DC – in support of strong climate legislation.

Climate Ride - NYC to DC

Climate Ride - NYC to DC

The last photo is of all the bikes he and his colleagues use – outside their offices in downtown Portland.

Bikes at the Office

Bikes at the Office

Events and Opportunities – Oct, Nov

Sunday, October 25th, 2009
Green Streeter Ian Riddell, Halloween 2008

Green Streeter Ian Riddell, Halloween 2008

Oct 28 – Westbrook Sebago to the Sea Trail Meeting

Public meeting on Sebago to the Sea Trail, Westbrook High School, 5:30 pm

Oct 30 – Halloween Costume Bike Ride

Improptu Halloween Costume Bike Ride starting at Monument Square, Portland, 6pm.  It was a fun informal gathering last year (see photos at the bottom of this post from last fall).  Go to Portland Bike Commuter Meetup for details and don’t forget your lights!

Oct 31 – Pedestrian Safety Tips for Halloween

Smart, comprehensive tips for your friends & family (and motorists) from the national Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center.

Oct 31 – Fun Bike Rodeo at Public Health Fair (& Bike Volunteers Needed!)

40 members from the medical field, human services, non-profit organizations and government agencies will focus on topics of personal health, physical fitness, nutrition and safety for all ages…includes children’s finger printing & ID’s.  The Portland Bike Commuter Meetup will be there, organizing a fun bicycle skills course, bike safety checks, and bike/helmet inspections for all ages. Father Hayes Center, 673 Stevens Ave., 10 A.M. – 2 P.M. Free Admission.

Also, Green Streets volunteers are needed at this event! Jobs include: helmet fitters, bike evaluators, and bike course monitors. MECHANICS ARE ESPECIALLY NEEDED! Organizers can teach you helmet fit and bike checking, if necessary. If you can come help with this event, please notify Meetup organizer, John Brooking at bike@mainebrook.com the hours you can be there and if you already have any of the skills mentioned or will need training. Or just feel free to show up and help anyway! (It’s Halloween, but it’s over by 2, plenty of time!)

Nov 3 – Vote Yes on Question 6

On November 3, Mainers will vote on a $55 million bond referendum for highway and bridge construction and maintenance.  The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s board of directors supports this request (ballot question 6) because cyclists benefit from many road and bridge improvements.

The reverse also is true.  When bridges and roads fall into disrepair, then cycling conditions deteriorate and, in some cases, make travel impossible. That is the situation now on Memorial Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire.  The bridge, which provides the only way for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Piscataqua River between the two states, recently was closed for emergency repairs due to long-neglected maintenance. We cannot afford for that to happen elsewhere in the state.  That is why the coalition board supports Question 6.

APPLY NOW – Nov 13 Deadline – $500 Mini-Grants from Healthy Casco Bay

Healthy Casco Bay is excited to announce the availability of mini-grants of up to $500 for initiatives that promote/support healthy living among people who live, work and play in the towns of Cumberland, Chebeague Island, Falmouth, Freeport, Gray, Long Island, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and Yarmouth.

The goal of these funds is to promote/support community initiatives which use education, programming, policy and environmental change to nimprove public health – through better nutrition, decrease in tobacco use and substance abuse and increased physical activity – including promoting bicycling and walking. The Request for Applications is available for download at www.healthycascobay.org

RESPOND NOW – Nov 16 Deadline – Submit Bike Rack and Park & Ride Location Suggestions to GoMAINE – & Enter Raffle for $500 Savings Bond

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine and GO Maine are launching a new program to establish more bike racks and Park & Ride lots throughout Maine. Tell them your location suggestions, and you could win a $500 U.S. Savings bond.  Go to GOMaine’s Web site to find out more and to fill out a brief survey with your suggestion.  The contest and raffle closes on November 16.

Nov 17 – Public Meeting on Pownal Center Bridge

MaineDOT will hold a public meeting on November 17 at 6 p.m. in the Dewitt Room at Pownal Town Hall to discuss replacement of the Pownal Center Bridge.  For more information, please contact Jim Wentworth.

Back Cove Blog theme photo

Check Out Great New Back Cove Blog

If your commute takes you by Back Cove, check out a new blog devoted to news and feature stories about the cove: www.backcovemorning.blogspot.com. You’ll find a cove community bulletin board, wildlife updates, interviews with cove regulars and much more. Your contributions are welcome!

Weekly Bike Maintenance Classes from Gorham Bike & Back Bay Bicycle

Every Thursday there are bike maintenance & mechanic classes at Gorham Bike & Ski (flat tire workshop) and Back Bay Bicycle (flat tire workshop alternating with drive train maintenance).  Check their sites for class time and other info.

Enter Now to Win Custom Built Bike! Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 2009 Super Raffle

The winner will receive a handmade, custom Maine bicycle valued at more than $3,500. Additional information is available on their Web site http://www.bikemain e.org/superraffle.htm

AMTRAK Downeaster Specials

College 6Tix – Get smart this semester. Purchase a College 6TIX pass and get six one-way trips on the Amtrak Downeaster for just $76. With up to 50% off the regular fare, it’s a no brainier.

Early risers are rewarded on Saturdays and Sundays. Pay just $24.00 round-trip when traveling on train 690 and 695, 697, or 699. Tickets must be purchased at least three days in advance of travel. Reference promotion code v175. Blackout dates and restrictions may apply.

The Downeaster is currently offering 50% off the price of any Downeaster ticket for senior citizens (62+) and folks with disabilities. The discount can be used any day of the week and on any Downeaster train. To take advantage of this discount, travelers must use discount code V543 and must reserve their tickets at least three days in advance. Seniors will need to show proof of age; disabled folks will need to show a Medicare card or other proof of disability status. Disabled individuals can book tickets over the phone or at a staffed ticket window, due to a limitation in Amtrak’s web site - for contact and station information click here. All in all, this is a fabulous discount and a great way for seniors and disabled folks to get out, enjoy the summer, and leave the car at home!

This Fall – Don’t Forget the New Covered Bike Racks in Spring St. Garage!

Thanks to the hard work of and financing from the Portland Downtown District, new bike racks that hold 20 bikes have been added just inside the Spring Street garage at the entrance on Free Street in Portland.  Spread the word – bikes parked there are out of the rain and in a safe location.  An enormous plus for people who ride (or get stuck) in inclement weather.

Bring a U Car Vehicle to Munjoy Hill!

Car Sharing is a wonderful way to save money (get rid of your other car!) while having the convenience of a car when you need it – and you only pay for the time you’re actually using it. U Car Share (run by U Haul) pays EVERYTHING, including gas, maintenance, and insurance. Rate for a Chrysler PT Cruiser is $9.50 per hour, or $66 per day.  It’s  wonderful service! If you live on the East End in Portland get your membership application fee waived for a limited time.   Log in at www.ucarshare.com to sign up anduse this promotional code: MUNJOYHILL. If enough East Enders join, the company will locate a car close by. For more information, contact Peter Alexander at 773-4606.

Local School Educates Youth on Green Transportation

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Friends School of Portland

Green Streeter Katie Spirer, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher at the Friends School, writes:dscn08131

“This spring we spent a few weeks educating ourselves about alternative transportation by having experts come in to class to teach us about bike safety, pedestrian safety, the true costs of car ownership, and the benefits (and sometimes drawbacks) of alternative transportation.  We also took a great alternate transit field trip that opened up different transportation modes for all of us.  We walked from school off Mackworth Island to catch the #7 METRO bus into town, then walked down to catch a ferry to Peaks Island, then carpooled over to the Portland Transportation Center and toured one of the Downeaster trains. (more…)

Photos and Notes from Green Streeters

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Kathy Beach, who commutes from South Portland to Scarborough says:

“Keep up the good work. I’ve talked 2 people at my job site into riding their bikes to work occasionally. The summer is the easiest time to make our case!”

Michael Danahy sold his car last year and walks, bikes, rides the bus and carpools everywhere. He writes, “Is it true that So Portland bus is free if you have a towel or otherwise can show that you’re going to/from the beach?”

The Answer – Until September 5th, you can get a free ride HOME from the beach when leaving from the Preble & Willow St. bus stop! Check out our website for full details.

Betsy Melrose commutes from Westbrook to the Old Port.

She writes: “Biked to work one day and then biked to a friends house in Windham. Lots of uphill on Blackstrap Road! Heavier trip with my CSA farmshare on the back of the bike!!”

Meg Quinn lives on Munjoy Hill. Starting next month, her son (pictured with Meg here) will walk to the East End School and she will walk or bike to her office on Fore St. At which point, she says ”We will be fully green-commuting household (when kid goes to nearby elementary instead of far-away preschool). Yay!”

Julia Reddy writes: “Selling my car a year ago was the best thing I’ve done – for my body, my spirit, and my footprint!”

Mary Anne Higgins, who struggles against laziness in her walking commute from the East End to the Old Port, writes:

“It was a very busy week and I’d been driving to work more often than I like. I forced myself to walk for Green Streets Day. The smells of the ocean, fresh-cut grass, and sea roses; the smiling neighbors who said hello; and the sound of the sea gulls all reminded me why I love walking to work. I arrived at work happy, awake, and relaxed. I really needed the reminder. And thankfully a friend drove me home in the rain after work!”

Portland Green Streets would like to say thanks again to sponsor Gorham Bike & Ski for all they do for the Greater Portland community – and especially for their support of the Blessing of the Bicycles in May. What a crew!

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Join Us on Facebook & Check Out Our Logo Contest

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


Join Us on Facebook

Portland Green Streets is now on Facebook! Be one of the first members to join! Network and socialize with other Green Streeters.  You can find friends to commute with or meet up with at participating businesses for discounts on Green Streets Day. To join, click on the Facebook button to the left or click here – or search for Portland Green Streets on Facebook. Share it with Green Streeters you know and your friends!

Portland Green Streets Logo Contest on Facebook

And don’t miss out on our logo contest! Portland Green Streets is seeking creative ideas for a new logo. Upload your design ideas on Facebook! The winner will get a free t-shirt with his/her logo design and a raffle prize of his/her choice.

Photos & Notes from Green Streeters – April & May

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Leana Good-Simpson (pictured left) from Portland writes:

“This is very rewarding and seeing people walking versus cars is great. I love the fresh cool air.”

Tom Tracy works out of his home and uses his bike to get around to meetings and shopping in the Portland area. He writes:

“When the carton of eggs fell off the ridiculously over-packed box of groceries on my bike, only 4 cracked and all but one were salvaged! Sorry, no video available! Are there any bike packing tutorials available?”

Feel free to post helpful packing tips for Tom!

Mike Popovic, (pictured right, mid-winter) a 14-mile commuter in the greater Portland area ( & who has volunteered on design work for Green Streets!) writes:

“Happy to report that I rode my bike any day that I went to work for the entire winter! Now bring on Spring!”

Allison Sovetsky and her husband commute from Saco to Portland together. She writes:

“My husband and I carpool together – not only do we say $ on gas, but we
get to spend some quality time with each other and catch up on each
other’s day.”

Zoe Miller writes:

“I strolled my son to daycare this morning then continued on to work. I was proud that I commuted green even though it took some extra planning and it made me feel good that I got to enjoy the sunshine with my son on a day that I’m at work.”

Jenn Thibodeau and Ashley Bracy of Healthy Maine Partnerships & PROP are pictured here encouraging co-workers to participate in Green Streets Fridays.