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Portland Green Streets » 2008 » October

Archive for October, 2008

Sign in Here – Green Streets Day, Friday October 31st!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Sign in now here – Please take a minute and sign in now (and every month!) if you plan to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or telecommute this Green Streets Day – Friday, September 26th. (See our main page for who qualifies as a Green Streeter – anyone can do it!)

And read the rest of this entry for the freebies, discounts, and raffle items from local businesses – for those in Greater Portland who:

  • Wear Green (shirt, pants, socks, whatever!)
  • and Get Around Green (walk, bike, take transit, carpool, telecommute, etc.) on Green Streets Day!

Also – as this Green Streets Day is also Halloweenplease e-mail us photos of you (& any other folks!) getting around green at PortlandGreenStreets@yahoo.com – any kind of costume, mask, face painting, etc. is encouraged!

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Late October Events & Opportunities

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

October 28 - O’Natural’s Community Night for Portland Trails! Come support Portland Trails at O’Naturals in Falmouth on Tuesday, October 28th. 10% of the sales from 4-8pm will go directly to Portland Trails! O’Naturals is located at 240 US Route 1 in Falmouth.

October 28, 30 – Learn How to Ride the Bus! Hands-on sessions – more info here from METRO. And for other fall bus opportunities:

  • And check out these links for service to various areas:
  1. METRO service to Falmouth, Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook
  2. South Portland Bus Service in South Portland and Portland. South Portland Bus promotions include: All brand-new riders looking to start using the bus can get a free 10-ride bus ticket to learn the system. Anyone buying the SoPo Bus 10-ride tickets can turn them in to any driver when they are used up, and enter it into a drawing for a free 10-ride bus ticket – 4 winners picked each Friday. South Portland residents should also check their Super Coupon Mailer for free ride coupons for the SoPo Bus! For more info, contact Richard Sargent at rsargent@southportland.org
  3. Shuttlebus Intercity service between Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, and Old Orchard Beach
  4. Shuttlebus Tri-Town service between Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach
  5. Zoom Turnpike Express service between Biddeford, Saco and Portland
  6. For public transit information all over Maine, definitely check out the Explore Maine website.

October 31 – Green Streets Day!

October 31 – Halloween Costume Critical Mass (see our post for more info)! Critical Mass is riding once again on the last Friday of this month, which just happens to be Halloween, from Monument Square at 6 PM – Halloween costumes are encouraged!  Join Head Spook Michelle Boisvert and her merry band as they journey through their favorite haunts of downtown Portland.

PLEASE NOTE that sunset on Halloween is at 5:34, well before the start of the ride. Therefore, all corporeal beings who value their continued earthly solidity should come equipped with both headlights and taillights. If you are planning on attending and are willing to sell taillights to those without, on behalf of the Bike Commuting Meetup, please let John know and he’ll set you right up!

Halloween Costume Critical Mass Ride – this Green Streets Day!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Photo by Dustinj - Flickr - Creative Commons Green Streets Day falls on Halloween this year – so please e-mail us photos if you wear any kind of costume while you get around green this Friday!

AND, Critical Mass is riding once again on the last Friday of this month, which just happens to be Halloween – leaving from Monument Square at 6 PM.  Costume wearing is encouraged!

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What a Celebration of Green Streets’ First Year!

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Despite the torrential rain Friday, September 26th, there was a terrific turnout for Portland Green Streets’ Celebration of Our 1st Year! (For other photos and notes from September, click here)

Over 50 Green Streeters convened at the super-welcoming Green Streets’ sponsor Slainte Winebar (special thanks is owed to owner, Ian Farnsworth, for all his work on the event!)

As Green Streeter Ian Riddell said, “Even though it will be a soggy bike ride home, I had to ride during the first anniversary of Green Streets!”  (more…)

Other Photos and Notes from Green Streets this September

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Common Ground Fair

John Brooking, organizer of the Portland Bike Commuter Meetup, and Michelle Boisvert, organizer of Portland’s Critical Mass rides joined forces to bike 100 miles to MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair - in one day!

Here they are resting on the route and then arriving at the fairgrounds.  They spent the weekend volunteering at the fair – and what a beautiful weekend it was (if a little crisp camping out at night)!

Green Streets organizer Sarah Cushman took the much easier route – carpooling with her daughter Cedar and neighbor Drew Masterman to one of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine satelite Park & Pedal lots and then pedaling 4 miles to the Fair.

Sarah reports: “Whizzing past the cars creeping along to get into the fairground parking lots was lovely – although we saw plenty of carpoolers.  And the reception you receive upon entering the Valet Bike Parking site – people with bells and whistles and tamburines welcoming you through the tunnel, $1 off admission, and getting to head to the front of the entrance line – was wonderful!  Plus we got to ride in the Human Powered Parade, which was a fun way to get our first glimpse of the fairgrounds – I don’t think we’d go to the Fair any other way now!”

Green Streets Day

Joyce Ann Menges commutes from North Deering to SMCC and writes:

“I participated in April for the first time and I’ve been using the bus off and on ever since. Actually, these days I try not to use my car during the week at all, as much as possible. Thanks for getting me started!”

Jon Sylvester writes:

“I commute every day with my wife, we chose to work at the same school to cut down on commuting costs and have some quality time to boot!  And on the way home we can process in peace about our often crazy days at work, which can make getting home more relaxing.”

Green Streeter Colleen Ryan reports:

“I work from home, so I don’t have a commute, but I do most of my traveling (to meetings, shopping, and social events) by bike or on foot. More bike lanes would make me feel safer to bike more places.”

Regina Booth, environmental consultant at Spectrum Printing and Graphics – pictured at left celebrating Green Streets Day with co-workers Joe Biron, Scott Cronkhite, Wade Foster, Dave Phillips, Craig Sharkey, and Paul Wheeler (not in that order :) ) – all members of the site’s Green Team.

Hadley Schmoyer, the new Marketing Coordinator for Wright-Ryan Construction writes:

“I recently changed jobs and one of the motivating factors was to be able to be within walking distance of my work. Now I work a street over from my house for a company committed to sustainability and green values…a double win!”

Denis Noonan of Portland writes:

“I enjoy looking for an empty seat on the bus and more frequently sharing a seat. This is a new experience in Portland. Great to see more bikers and walkers. Let’s see how many make it past the first flakes!”

Candidates Forum on Sustainability

On September 28th, listeners gathered in the Glickman Library at University of Southern Maine to hear the responses of Maine’s 1st District Congressional candidates, Chellie Pingree and Charlie Summers, to a series of questions about environmental sustainability which were crafted by twenty co-sponsoring organizations (including Portland Green Streets).  The event was moderated by Irwin Gratz, host of Maine Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” and will be broadcast on community television stations in 56 Maine communities. To view the forum, click here.

(Or for a list of stations it will be shown on go to www.trails.org\forum).  The topics ranged from global warming and alternative transportation to wildlife and habitat protections and sustainable agriculture and fisheries.

On the topic of global warming, Pingree commented that “people are really committed to doing something about it and we don’t want to miss that opportunity.”   Summers said that “the government has to do things to encourage alternative energy” in order to deal with our current dependence on oil.

Investment in alternative transportation was supported by both candidates, with Pingree stating that she “would like to see more transportation money for projects like that,” and that, “we have an incredible subsidy for our highway system, but not for public transportation.” Summers put the burden on the individual to make this happen, saying that,  ”We can’t expect the government to do this for us. We have to be active participants in becoming an energy-independent country.”

When asked about supporting local agriculture and fisheries, Summers cited “increasing interest in buying foods locally. .. Everywhere you turn, you see more CSA’s and farmers markets.”  Pingree agreed that “any time you can buy local – that’s a good thing.”  On fisheries, she added that, “We’ve really been suffering with the demise of the groundfish,” and said that she “would love to be a part of how to change this.”  Summers noted that, “researchers and fishermen both have to work together to replenish our fishing stocks.”

Across the board, both candidates agreed that environmental sustainability is a critical issue for the state of Maine and pledged that they would make it a priority, if elected.

September Raffle and Gelato Challenge Results!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Thanks so much to all of you who signed in with your participation in Green Streets Day, Friday, September 26th (Photos and Notes from September, click here - and from the 1st Year Celebration, click here)!

Despite the forecast for rain and the ensuing storm, we still had a good number of documented participants. And with people now able to report others going green at their locations, we have an estimated number of 465 total participants! So! There were 75 of you great folks signing in: