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Portland Green Streets » 2009 » June

Archive for June, 2009

Sign in Here & This Month’s Incentives – Green Streets Day, Friday, June 26th!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Joe Walsh, Betsi Gerwig, Delia Billings, and Hilary Irons of Green Streets sponsor Green Clean Maine - carpooling to work as always!

Joe Walsh, Betsi Gerwig, Delia Billings, and Hilary Irons of Green Streets sponsor Green Clean Maine - carpooling to work as always!

Sign in now (click 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, May 29th. (Click here and scroll down our main page to see who qualifies as a Green Streeter – anyone can do it!)

And find the Green Streets Sponsor nearest you with this great map! And/or 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!


Green Streets Day Lunch at Whole Foods – In Support of Franklin St. and I-295 Exit 7 Re-Visions!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009


Come join us for lunch on Green Streets Day this Friday at Whole Foods in Portland!

Whole Foods is located along the Franklin Street route affected by the proposed changes to I-295 Exit 7 (see our post on this) and also the Franklin Street Revisioning Process (see here for more info).

Whether you want to talk about the I-295 expansion and Franklin Street – or just network with other Green Streeters from the Greater Portland area – we invite you to come on over! Purchase one of the many lunch options at Whole Foods and join us between the hours of 12:30-2pm in the dining area. Hope to see you there!

Call Rep. Chellie Pingree to Say No to I-295 Exit 7 Expansion!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
Say No! to I-295 Exit 7 Expansion

Say No! to I-295 Exit 7 Expansion

Portland Green Streets encourages education regarding all community transportation issues which affect you.

The Issue

The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is planning to use federal earmarks for the following projects for Exit 7 off of I-295 (Franklin & Marginal Way). These projects focus on car traffic – not pedestrian and bike access at this critical intersection for walkers and cyclists.

The MDOT plan includes: (more…)

Events & Opportunities – June, July

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

June 24 – City Meeting with Neigborhood Associations

For a good chance to express your concerns about pedestrian, bike and transit issues in your neighborhood or city-wide – come out to this Neighborhood Forum.  5:30-7:30pm, Room 24, City Hall.

June 30 – Advocate for Walk & Bike Friendly Re-Construction of Read Street!

The residents of Read Street in Portland (a strategic bike commuting and pedestrian corridor) have furnished the city of Portland with 3 separate traffic calming petitions dating back to spring of 2008.  As lower Read Street is a residential 25mph, no truck zone, there are deep concerns about a possible expansion of the road to 36 feet wide. It will not only cost the city more money to build and maintain but will also encourage speeding and make Read Street far less pedestrian and bicycle friendly.   Join Read Street residents at a meeting with the City on June 30th at 6:30 pm at Cheverus High School (check back on this post in case there is a change of location). For more information e-mail Green Streeter Craig Haims at jcwah1999@yahoo.com

July 7 – League of American Bicyclist’s Traffic Skills 101 Course – REGISTER NOW

Nationally-certified cycling instructor – and Bike Coalition of Maine founder – Charley LaFlamme will teach the League of American Bicyclist’s all-day Traffic Skills 101 in Fryeburg on July 7.  This nationally certified and fun course will help you gain a full understanding of how to safely bicycle in a variety of situations and build your confidence by teaching you crash avoidance, traffic management and effective cycling techniques. If you don’t feel safe bicycling on the road, this is the class to give you the skills and ability to “drive your bike” like any other vehicle. A bicycle in good working order, water bottle and well-fitting helmet are required. Classes are about half in-class and half on-bike. Recommended for adults and children above 14 accompanied by a parent. The deadline for registering is June 26 and the class is limited to 12 students. Please sign up early so you don’t miss out! For more info see here.

July 10 – 12 – 21st Annual Maine Bike Rally

Three days of bike rides in beautiful western Maine and the Mount Washington Valley for all levels of cyclists. Based at Fryeburg Academy, the rally features more than 30 rides of five to 100 miles plus a full weekend of family entertainment, including a bicycle parade, ice cream social and much
more. Camping and meals are available, all at an affordable price. Click here (http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=-715103575 7255248813& hl=en) to see a video of the rally. For more information, please visit Fryeburg Academy, 745 Main St, Fryeburg, Maine (http://www.bikemaine.org/mainebikerally/index. html ) or call (207) 623-4511. Fees will be announced on the website.

July 13 – Public Meeting on Long Creek Bike-Ped Bridge

You may have seen the news recently of the proposed Portland Jetport expansion which would lengthen the runways, possibly impeding upon the possibility of a long-dreamed of bicycle/pedestrian trail in the area, including a bridge over Long Creek. The bridge and path would make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to navigate the southern end of Veteran’s Bridge to the Red Brick neighborhood of South Portland. The Portland Bike Commuter Meetup has a message board thread on it here, and organizer John Brooking has appended a graphic showing the proposed bridge and path location.

The South Portland Land Trust has commissioned a consulting firm to study the possibility of a bike/ped bridge, and are asking everyone in support of the idea to come to a South Portland City Council Workshop on Monday, July 13, at 6:30. (We think at South Portland City Hall, 25 Cottage Road.) If you cannot make the meeting, you may email comments to cosp@southportland.org or smooney@southportland.org, by 4 PM Thursday July 9.

July 14 – Bike to GreenDrinks at Sebago Brewing Company!

The July GreenDrinks event- an opportunity to socialize with other green-interested folks – will be held at the Sebago Brewery production facility (home to several active Green Streeters and bike commuters!).  The facility is located in the Gorham Industrial Park, 48 Sanford Drive, off Route 25 between Westbrook and Gorham. A bike ride from downtown Portland is being organized, but details have not been set yet. Please see http://www.meetup.com/Portland-Bike-Commuting/calendar/10707961/ for more details and a map link as they become available. The time of the return ride has not been set, but it is possible that riders will not return home until after sunset at 8:21 PM. All riders should therefore be equipped with a headlight and red rear reflector or taillight as required by Maine law for nighttime riding. And please drink responsibly.

July 25 - Eighth Annual Maine Lobster Ride & Roll

The state’s most scenic and tastiest bicycle ride follows country roads and the rock-bound coast. The fully supported ride includes four distance options: 16, 30, 50 or 100 miles. Cyclists can look forward to a freshly made lobster roll lunch (tuna and veggie options available) and live Tour de France coverage at the end. The Maine Lobster Ride & Roll supports the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s safety and education programs.  Rockland District High School, 400 Broadway, Rockland (http://www.bikemaine.org/lobsterride/index.html)  For more information, please visit the site or call (207) 623-4511. Fees will be announced on the website.

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 – like the past 10 days!

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 of East Enders join, the company will locate a car close by. For more information, contact Peter Alexander at 773-4606.

REMINDER – Veranda Street Bridge Closure Providing Separated Bike-Pedestrian Crossing

The Veranda Street Bridge (which crosses over an active railroad bed below and serves as a major connector for bike commuters and pedestrians between central Portland and East Deering and Falmouth) will be closing for repairs on June 24th most likely for the summer.  Thankfully, the contractor has built a temporary bicycle-pedestrian bridge to maintain complete access for cyclists and pedestrians during the bridge reconstruction.  As Bike-Ped advocate Steve Scharf reports: : “It is a wide berth so it will easily accommodate two way traffic.  Folks may want to walk their bikes…The fun part is you will be able to watch the progress as you go across…stop at Beals on your way home for refreshment.”

Don’t Forget to Join Our Partner Group the Portland Bicycle Commuter Meetup!

For great online information, a brief but informative weekly news update, and simple answers to your questions about smart, safe cycling – definitely join the Portland Bike Commuter Meetup! A group of people who like to ride their bikes for transportation, not just recreation – their goals are to build community and promote the use of bicycles as transportation.  Meeting monthly to socialize and discuss topics of interest, and the group also conducts regular monthly seminars in Beginning Commuting and Traffic Safety. The group includes both veteran and beginning bike commuters, and you are welcomed regardless of which you are, or even (especially) if you are just thinking about it.

Membership benefits include:

  • Free copies of “Bicycling Street Smarts” booklet about riding safely in traffic
  • Short-term folding bike rental, perfect for trips incorporating trains, busses, and ferries. See http://bike.meetup.com/132/pages/Folding_Bikes_for_Rent/ for details.
  • Free bike stickers from www.1lesscar.com, and
  • The ability to fully participate in the online site, such as posting messages.

This is a great network of transportational  bike riders right in the Greater Portland area – and you can participate as much as you like or just take what you need and leave the rest.  Definitely sign up!

South Portland Bus – 4th Annual Ride Home Free From the Beach!

Take the South Portland bus (including from downtown Portland locations) to Willard Beach and get a free ride home – from June 15th  to September 5th.  Show the driver your beach towel, sunscreen, etc. at the Preble & Willow St. bus stop only, and get a free trip back home. Once you’re on the bus you can enter the drawing for a fun South Portland Bus Service beach towel. Drawing forms available from the driver. Four winners picked each Friday. For more information, call 767-5556.

50% Off Downeaster Train Tickets for Seniors and the Disabled

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!

True Tales Walking Tours

Harlan Baker is leading walking tours of downtown Portland leaving from Monument Square every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 3:45 pm. No Reservations Required. Tours last approximately 2 hours and leave rain or shine. Tour will cost $12 for Adults, $10 for Students/Seniors, and $5 Kids.  Free map included! The tour will go to Gorham’s Corner through the Old Port to India Street and end at the foot of Munjoy Hill. Along the way Baker will tell stories about the neighborhoods history and colorful characters that lived there.  Based in fact, all tales are accurately conveyed, providing superb history lessons which transition into some of the most enticing narratives ever told.  Many of the stories are based on interviews Baker conducted while a writer for North country an alternative newspaper that was published in Portland from 1969 to 1974. You will hear stories about bootlegging,the old fishing fleet, the Great Fire of 1866,the destruction of Falmouth Neck in October of 1775 by the British and much more. A local actor, professor and historian, Baker is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Southern Maine , and a columnist for The West End News.

Control MDOT Spraying of Your Roadways

No Spray Agreements are available for landowners abutting roadways, railroads and utilities. Parties who participate agree to remove brush adjacent to their properties in lieu of herbicide treatments. To request a No-Spray Agreement, call Maine DOT at 207-624-3000.

In the Maine DOT Roadside Brush Control Program, powered spraying is prohibited in the following areas: within 100 feet of wells and springs; 150 feet of parked vehicles; 100 feet of animal pastures; 150 feet of occupied buildings, homes or playgrounds; 100 feet of organic farms, pedestrians, bicyclists or picnic tables; or within areas defined by Maine DOT No-Spray Agreements.

To report violations of these buffers, call the BPC at 207-287-2731 (24-hr answering service).

May Green Streets Day Raffle Results!

Monday, June 8th, 2009
Green Streeter and Bike Commuter Craig Haims

Green Streeter and Bike Commuter Craig Haims

Thanks so much to all of you who signed in with your participation in Green Streets Day, Friday, May 29th - especially with the snotty weather out there!

With people able to report others going green at their locations, we have an estimated number of 547 total participants – and there were 100 of you great folks signing in:

  • 33 walking, 37 biking, 11 taking the bus, train or ferry, 14 carpooling or vanpooling, and 2 telecommuting, and 3 using multiple modes (i.e., some combination of the above)!
  • collectively saving 1,233 single-occupancy vehicle miles! (many of you saving those kinds of miles every day)
  • keeping approximately $120 in gas money in your wallets!
  • improving our air quality & individual health, & reducing our climate-changing CO2 emissions by approximately 972 pounds!
  • enjoying the opportunity to get outdoors a bit more and/or share transportation with others
  • starting (& continuing) a fun and important conversation with the people of our community about how we get around!

Note: please continue to sign in every month – and please talk to other Green Streets participants about doing so as well. It helps us with participation data, like number of miles & emissions saved, commuting methods used, etc!

The winners of this month’s raffle come from the following work/school/life places: (Remember, you don’t have to be headed to a job on Green Streets Day – just getting around green no matter what you’re up to!)

City of Portland, Concordia Partners, Fairchild Semiconductor, Fuji, Geo’s, Life After the Lay-Off, Medical Care Development, New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, Portland Public Health Division, The REAL School on Mackworth Island, Reasons, 477 Congress Street

Now! The winners are:

Winners will be notified how to claim their prizes.

Thanks again to Eastern Trail Alliance, U Car Share, St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center, Portland Trails, Rosemont Market & Bakery, South Portland Bus Service, Others!, Maine Running Company, O’Naturals, the Children’s Museum, Nomads, Port City Life, METRO, WMPG, and Healthy Portland for your gifts to the Portland Green Streets initiative!

Have a great month out there going green and don’t forget these upcoming events and opportunities!