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Portland Green Streets » 2009 » September

Archive for September, 2009

Sign In Now – Green Streets Day this Friday, September 25th!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Sign in now (click here) – Please take a minute to 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 25th. Signing in helps us see our growing numbers as we become a greener city and signs you up for raffle prizes donated by local businesses!

On Green Streets Day, visit one of our Green Streets Sponsors for freebies and discounts. Find the Green Streets Sponsor nearest you with this great map! Or read the rest of this entry for a list of participating local businesses.

Still not convinced? Here are 5 Reasons You Should Commute Green This Month:

  1. Now that Labor Day has passed, the tourist traffic has died down. Time for locals to re-claim the city!
  2. Enjoy those sunny mornings and evenings before the days get shorter!
  3. In Maine, fall means less rain and more blue skies… and snow isn’t here yet.
  4. Get outside and watch the leaves change.
  5. Best solution for a slower economy? Walk past and support your local businesses to keep Greater Portland thriving.

Don’t forget to wear something green this Friday. And as always – please e-mail us photos of you (& any other folks!) getting around green at PortlandGreenStreets@yahoo.com!


Meet new people, develop your skills, and help out your community!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Have you thought about becoming a Portland Green Streets volunteer, but don’t know how you can help? Portland Green Streets is transforming into a sustainable organization – specializing the opportunities based on volunteer skills and interests.

So join one of our Green Street volunteer teams and help your community in a way that you enjoy. Share your knowledge and energy with like-minded neighbors!

If you like…

  • Learning about and working with local businesses
  • Doing budgets and minding the till
  • Researching and writing grants

You would excel with the Finance Team!

If you like…

  • Meeting new people in the community
  • Working with volunteers to find roles that fit their strengths
  • Being involved with an awesome organization at an exciting time of growth

You could build upon our Leadership and Volunteer Capacity Team!

If you like…

  • Writing, photography, or using the computer
  • Facebooking (and have updated your status today)
  • Designing logos, t-shirts, and websites
  • Market research and profiling target audiences

You should email our Marketing and Communications Team!

To volunteer, email portlandgreenstreets@yahoo.com or stop by one of our Drop-in Volunteer Socials the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Click here for full details.

Events & Opportunities – Sept, Oct

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Tonight!  (Sept 22) – World Car Free Day at North Star Cafe in Portland

See our post

September 23 – Meeting on Possible Bike-Ped Path from Valley Street to High Street (Portland)

There will be a neighborhood meeting to discuss a study to evaluate a potential bicycle and pedestrian path from Valley Street to High Street in Portland’s West End. This path would connect with the existing trail systems along the Fore River Parkway and Harbor View Park. With the redevelopment of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, it would provide new access for cyclists and pedestrians traveling between Portland and South Portland. 6pm, Reiche School, 166 Brackett Street, Portland. For more information, contact Tom Errico, Study Project Manager at thomas.errico@ tylin.com. (207) 347-4354.

September 25, 26, 27 – Pedal or Carpool to the Common Ground Fair

If you bicycle all or part of the way to the Common Ground Fair in Unity on September 25-27, you’ll be participating in a tradition that began more than a decade ago. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine partners with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association (MOFGA) to do valet bicycle parking at the fair.  The service cuts down on traffic and pollution, which is totally fitting with an event celebrating sustainable living practices. Fairgoers who arrive on bicycle receive a rousing welcome, very convenient and safe parking and a $2 discount on admission.  The coalition’s presence at the fair helps spread the word about their efforts to work for better bicycling in Maine. Find the bike best routes.

MOFGA has also partnered with PickUpPal to help folks coordinate carpooling opportunities – check that out here!

September 29 – Public Meeting on Maine State Rail Plan at USM!

Come out for rail!  Given the huge impact that rail can have on regional and downtown vehicle congestion and thus walk/bike-ability, come on out to add your  input to this process. We have a number of  valuable transit corridors radiating out from Portland – and using them would have a dramatic impact. This plan has the potential to determine the future of our rail corridors. 6-8 pm, University Event Room, Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine, Portland!  And/or check out links and submit comments on the State’s developing rail plan: http://www.maine. gov/mdot/ railplan

Until September 30, 2009 – Ride METRO for FREE with College ID

Greater Portland Transit District METRO is welcoming students and staff to local colleges with a great deal:  Ride FREE with College ID from August 24 -  September 30, 2009. Students, staff and faculty from the following colleges may ride free with ID:

  • Andover College
  • Maine College of Art (MECA)
  • SALT Institute for Documentary Studies
  • Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)
    ( transfer from METRO to South Portland City Bus)
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine (USM)

METRO does not offer bus service on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For schedules and additional information, please visit www.gpmetrobus.com or call 774-0351. For ongoing updates, become a Facebook fan of METRO (Greater Portland Transit District) page.

APPLY NOW – Oct 7 Deadline – Worksite Wellness $250 Mini-Grants from Healthy Casco Bay

Get your co-workers walking & biking to work!  Healthy Casco Bay is excited to announce the availability of six mini-grants of up to $250 each for initiatives that help you create a healthier workplace environment for worksites in the Healthy Casco Bay region (Cumberland, Chebeague Island, Falmouth, Freeport, Gray, Long Island, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and Yarmouth) with 50 or fewer employees. They know that by improving employee health you are generating other important benefits such as reduced healthcare costs, improved employee morale and productivity, improved quality of services or products, and decreased absenteeism. The goal of this initiative is to support you in that process by offering up to a $250 award as well as providing technical assistance to guide you along the way. The Request for Applications may be found at: www.portlandmaine.gov/hhs/hcbwwminigrantrfa2010.pdf

APPLY NOW – Oct 7 Deadline – Healthy Casco Bay Powerful Youth Mini-grant

Healthy Casco Bay is excited to announce the availability of two mini-grants of up to $1,500 each for initiatives that support healthy living among youth who live, learn and play in the Healthy Casco Bay region (Cumberland, Chebeague Island, Falmouth, Freeport, Gray, Long Island, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and Yarmouth). The goal of this initiative is to create youth-adult collaboration and increase youth involvement in accomplishing social, policy and environmental changes that improve youth health.  The Request for Applications may be found at: www.portlandmaine.gov/hhs/hcbpyminigrantrfa2010.pdf

VOLUNTEER NOW – October Bike-Ped Counts on Franklin Street Arterial

The Franklin Reclamation Authority (FRA) will be conducting a Pedestrian and Bicycle Count during the month of October to collect data on multi-modal crossings of the Franklin Street Arterial. Your volunteer help with this effort will  provide important documentation of the bike and pedestrian use of Franklin Street. This data will be a valuable resource in future planning.

The FRA will conduct this bike/ped count during the following dates and times:

  • Weekday Shifts: AM Shift is 6:30-9:00; PM Shift #1 is 2-4; PM Shift #2 is 4-6.  Dates: 10/6: Tuesday; 10/7: Wednesday; 10/8: Thursday; 10/13: Tuesday; 10/14: Wednesday; 10/14: Thursday
  • Weekend shift: 10/10: Saturday, 12-2PM.

The FRA will also be surveying pedestrians to collect more detailed data on travel habits. The work of FRA began, and has been supported by the active involvement of members of the public. They need your help to make this Bike/Ped count a success by:

  • volunteering for a shift as a counter.
  • volunteering for a shift (or part of a shift) to survey pedestrians.

Be part of one the most exciting planning projects in the State of Maine! Your time and participation is valuable, so FRA is working to provide some gifts and prizes for volunteers and also a gathering of all that have supported the FRA effort. Contact the Franklin Street Ped Count Coordinator, Ingrid Swanson at iswanson@hotmail. com about your availability on one or more of these days.

Oct 3 – Cool Congress with Maine Cool Communities

Keynote Speaker: Bill McKibben - Live on ITV


  • Energy Efficiency -  Suzanne Watson Director of Policy for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
    Transportation – Chris Wilhite, Director of Sierra Club Rhode Island
  • Renewable Energy – John Kerry, Director of the Maine Office of Energy Security and Independence
    Adaptation Strategies -  Rhett Lamb, Planning Director in Keene, NH

8 am -4 pm UMaine Augusta – Live ITV at UMaine Presque Isle and UMaine Machias.  Following the Event: Tour LEED Platinum Hannaford Supermarket in Augusta. Register today here!

October 3 -  Friends of Casco Bay’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

A couple of transportation-related films they are featuring:

  • Division Street: This is not your father’s road trip. Roads and cars have fragmented wild landscapes, ushered in urban sprawl, and challenged some of the bedrock values we once took for granted.  But as the transportation crisis appears to be spiraling out of control, a new generation of ecologists, engineers, city-planners, and everyday citizens are transforming the future of the American road.
  • Amsterdam: The Bicycling Capital of Europe: In this inspiring short, we learn how Amsterdam has created a bicycle-friendly city that promotes a healthier, more active lifestyle.  With people meeting face to face instead of bumper to bumper, the city challenges us to rethink our car-centered lives in the United States.

5 – 9 p.m. (doors open at 4), Abromson Auditorium, USM, 88 Bedford Street, Portland. Tickets $15 in advance / $20 at the door – buy online at www.cascobay.org or in person at the Whole Foods Market in Portland. The event features ten great films – as well as free popcorn, dinner reception catered by Whole Foods Market, cash bar, raffle & festivities.  Proceeds will benefit Friends of Casco Bay’s work to improve & protect the Bay. More info, including a full list of film descriptions, can be found here: www.cascobay.org

October 18 – Reiche International 5K Road Race

Runners and walkers! Come participate in a  beautiful 5 kilometer run through Portland’s scenic West End neighborhood in support of Maine’s most ethnically diverse school, Reiche Elementary. This will be a community event celebrating Reiche’s amazing international student body representing 32 nationalities! In deference to the upcoming holiday, participants are invited to wear a costume (not mandatory). The race starts and ends at Reiche Elementary. The well-marked single loop course begins on Brackett Street & continues through the streets of the West End including Chadwick, Neal, Pine & Spring Streets. It includes one climb – behind the Western Prom Cemetery. Otherwise it’s fast and flat. High quality T-shirt for all registered runners! Prizes awarded! All ages! The first 99 registrants will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $50 gift certificates to Local 188 Restaurant and Lounge! 9:30 Am start – REGISTER NOW!  www.reicheinternational.com

Oct 24 – Step Up to the Plate Awards

Give Portland-area youth the recognition they deserve at the League of Young Voters Education Fund’s second biennial “Step Up to the Plate” awards! This year’s theme, “Doing More With Less,” focuses on young people who are able to successfully overcome the recession by finding creative ways to sustain positive community ventures. The evening includes a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, award presentations, live music and guest speaker Billy Wimsatt. Please go to the website to make nominations and vote for the winners – Step Up to the Plate Awards! Saturday, October 24th, 7:30pm-11pm at SPACE Gallery

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 – 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.

If you bicycle all or part of the way to the Common Ground Fair in Unity on September 25-27, you’ll be participating in a tradition that began more than a decade ago.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine partnered with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association (MOFGA) to start valet bicycle parking at the fair.  The service cuts down on traffic and pollution, which is totally fitting with an event celebrating sustainable living practices.
Fairgoers who arrive on bicycle receive a rousing welcome, very convenient and safe parking and a $2 discount on admission.  The coalition’s presence at the fair helps spread the work about our efforts to work for better bicycling in Maine.
If you’re headed to the fair, I hope you’ll be able to arrive on bicycle.  Find the best routes.

Sept 22 – Celebrate World Car-Free Day & 2 Years of Portland Green Streets!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

carfree day logo - largeThanks to the local efforts of Green Streeter and Portland Bike Commuter Meetup assistant organizer Jennifer Thibodeau, Greater Portland is all set to celebrate World Car-Free Day!

Join with others around the world to enjoy a day without cars.  And, as it’s the week of the 2nd Year Anniversary of Portland Green Streets, this is a great way to celebrate!  (In addition to Green Streets Day on Friday Sept 25th – regular e-newsletter coming out next week.)

So just like Green Streets Day – walk, bicycle, take the bus, run, or cartwheel to your destination(s) that day, and then come out and celebrate with other like-minded folks that evening.  Find out about (and brainstorm with others!) how to go car free more of the time, talk to others who get around like you do, and enjoy delicious (local) food and drink on Portland’s East End!

  • What: World Car-Free Day!
  • When: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 – 5:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Where: North Star Music Café (a Green Streets Sponsor!), 225 Congress St., Portland, ME
  • What else: Enjoy goodies from Cumberland County Healthy Maine Partnerships, Maine Mead Works, Portland Green Streets, and the Portland Bike Commuter Meetup!

The World Carfree Network is the hub of the global carfree movement. Worldcarfree.net is a clearinghouse of information from around the world on how to revitalise our towns and cities and create a sustainable future. In addition to serving the carfree movement, Worldcarfree.net offers resources for architects, planners, teachers/professors, students, decision-makers and engaged citizens.

August Green Streets Day Raffle Results!

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Green Streeters celebrating in downtown Portland - August 2009

Green Streeters celebrating in downtown Portland - August 2009

What a beautiful ending to summer – thanks so much to all of you who signed in with your participation in Green Streets Day, Friday, August 28th!

With people able to report others going green at their locations, we have an estimated number of 642 total participants – and there were 97 of you great folks signing in:

  • 22 walking, 42 biking, 8 taking the bus, train or ferry, 12 carpooling or vanpooling, and 2 telecommuting, and 11 using multiple modes (i.e., some combination of the above)!
  • collectively saving 1,126 single-occupancy vehicle miles! (many of you saving those kinds of miles every day)
  • keeping approximately $115 in gas money in your wallets!
  • improving our air quality & individual health, & reducing our climate-changing CO2 emissions by approximately 860 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!

Folks in 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!)

The Beacon Group, Bruce Hyman Consulting, 2 Canal Plaza, CIEE, The Corporate Library, Community Counseling Center, ENVIRON International Corp, Flatbread Company, Gray, Kennebunkport, Maine Securities Corporation, Preti Flaherty, Portland, Portland Press Herald, Prudential Financial, 2 Portland Square,  Advanced Patient Advocacy for Mercy Hospital, MPHC, Self-employed, Whole Foods Market, USM, Yarmouth

Winners will be notified how to claim their prizes.

Thanks again to Goodwill of Northern New England, Dr. Newton’s Naturals, U Car Share, 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 September out there going green and definitely check out: