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Portland Green Streets » 2010 » May

Archive for May, 2010

Sign In Here Now – Green Streets Day this Friday, May 28!

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Photo by Corey Templeton

Blessing of the Bicycles 2010 - Photo by Corey Templeton

Summer is firing up – a great time to enjoy walking, biking, or a breeze-filled bus, ferry, or carpool – or even get some work done from your home doorstep!

Please take 30 seconds to  Sign in Here for Green Streets Day – Friday, May 28th.  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.

Many Thanks for the Blessing of the Bicycles

Monday, May 24th, 2010
Photo by Corey Templeton

Photo by Corey Templeton

At 1 p.m. on the spectacular afternoon of May 16th we celebrated the lovely 2nd Annual Interfaith Blessing of the Bicycles – and all human-powered transportation!  We had participation from over 20 cyclists -and rollerskaters – from across Greater Portland, of various faith and non-faith practices, little ones and older, and some from various government and non-profit organizations, including Nick Batista from Chellie Pingree’s office.

Feel free to take a look at some sweet photos of the event taken by Green Streeter and PGS Board Member Corey Templeton.

We have many to thank for another wonderful event this year!

Cathedral of St. Luke – for their energy and passion for this event and for their generosity with hosting!  Special thanks to:

  • The Reverend Canon Carolyn Coleman – who we will miss for her shared passion and support for this event – and who we wish well on her journey with her family to Tennessee!
  • The Very Reverend Dr. Ben Shambaugh – for his continued support – it was great to have him in town this year
  • Steve Scarf for all his press release and publicity assistance
  • Kristina Minister and John Leddy and the rest of the St. Luke’s angels – for their planning assistance, getting the word out, and terrific refreshments set-up

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

  • with special thanks to Rabbi Akira Herzfeld for his input on the liturgy and participation in the service!

The Islamic Society of Portland

  • with many thanks to Wells Staley-Mays and Izzeldin Abdullah for assisting with the liturgy and sharing their voices in the service as well!

Ernie’s Cycle Shop and Gorham Bike & Ski – special thanks to both of their businesses for their sponsorship and financial support again this year!

Portland Bike Commuter Meetup – huge thanks to John Brooking for helping inspire us to start the Blessing here in Portland, for his lovely guitar playing, and for his ongoing efforts to build community among bicyclists and promote smart, safe bicycling in Greater Portland.

We at Portland Green Streets felt blessed to be involved as well!  -

  • Special thanks to Corey Templeton for his poster design work and the photos of the event!

Best wishes and safe biking over this next year – and if you missed the event look for it to happen again in May 2011!

Innovative & Affordable Housing That Supports Green Transportation

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
Composite Rendition of 72 Oak Street Project - CWS Architects
Composite Rendering of 72 Oak Street Lofts – CWS Architects

The Oak Street Lofts at 72 Oak Street is an exciting new housing project by Avesta Housing under current review by the Portland Planning Board. The pending application before the City proposes to in-fill an existing parking lot with 37 studio apartments that will be heavily marketed to artists.

The building’s first floor includes a large common space with ample storefront windows along Oak Street that can provide an opportunity for community art events. Rents are expected to be in the $500-$750/month price range, with twenty-five of the units set aside for those with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income – much needed in the artist community.

Some of the most exciting and innovative aspects of the project are how much it embraces and advances many of the City’s policies, most notably its sustainability and housing policies. In the area of sustainability, the project will be “LEED certified”, a national-standards ‘seal of approval’ for the building’s high level of energy efficiency and design.

The project also strongly advances the City’s transportation and environmental sustainability goals – of great interest to Green Streeters.  Numerous data show that the likely tenants will have a much lower rate of automobile ownership than the city average.  Instead of the typical Portland parking standards of 1 parking space per housing unit, the project proposes 8 on-site auto parking spaces and 8 motorcycle/scooter parking spaces. To offset this reduction in on-site parking, a creative package of incentives to promote bicycling, walking, bus transit, and car-sharing is being developed as part of a Transportation Demand Management Plan requested by the City. Current plans call for 24 on-site, covered bicycle parking spaces with additional curb-side bicycle and motorcycle/scooter parking in front of the building.

If you would like to send an email supporting this project and its smart, green transportation values, please send it to: Erick Giles, Portland Planning Division, egiles@portlandmaine.gov.

Events & Opportunities – May, June, July

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Portland Green Streets Calendar

As always, please check out the Portland Green Streets Calendar for upcoming transportation-related events in Greater Portland

Week of May 25-29 – Ride the Bus, Borrow a Book

Children and teens (18 and younger) receive a free ticket to ride on METRO Bus when they visit the newly remodeled library between May 25-May 29.

May 28 – Portland’s Great New Urban Bike Store – Portland Velocipede Grand Opening

Kick off Memorial Day Weekend with Portland Velocipede!  Join us for an evening of food, drinks, and bicycles and general merriment!  5-8pm; 45 York Street in Portland.

June 4 – First Friday Art Ride by the Portland Slow Riders

The Friday June 4 ride is being billed as a “Red Light Dance Party”!  Mmmmm, sounds intriguing. FMI, see here if you have Facebook. They always meet at 7 PM at Monument Square, first Friday of each month. Outlandish bike decoration and lighting is encouraged! (Boring old regular bike lights are good too!)

Concerned about I-295 Exit 7 Pathway?  Stay Tuned and/or Get Involved with Exit 7 Path Yahoo Group!

Members of the Portland Bike-Ped Advisory Committee and the League of Young Voters have set up a Yahoo Group to facilitate work on the Exit 7 Bike-Ped Path issue (a fully implemented pedestrian connection the City has requested be built between the Back Cove Trail and the intersection of Marginal Way and Franklin St. – when MaineDOT uses a federal earmark to widen the I-295 south-bound Franklin St. exit to two lanes).  Other folks who want to work on or hear directly about this issue are encouraged to subscribe to the group by e-mailing Exit7BikePedPath-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Summer Youth Bus Passes – Available Now

For only $20, children and teens – ages 18 and younger – can ride METRO and the South Portland City Bus from June through August. (Press release attached)

For more information, visit www.gpmetrobus.com or contact: Denise Beck – dbeck@gpmetrobus.com

Great New Bike Safety Public Service Announcements from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Featuring Green Streeters John Brooking (also the organizer of the Portland Bike Commuting Meetup) and Ellie & Oliver Chase!


Portland Bike-Ped Coordinator – Job Announcement

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Exciting news: the City of Portland has announced a 2-year Bike-Pedestrian Coordinator position – funded through the big stimulus grant Healthy Portland received recently from the federal Health and Human Services Department.  This is something the Portland Bike-Ped Advisory Committee has been advocating for, for several years now.

Recent research confirms that cities with Bike-Ped staff end up with much higher rates of residents who walk and bike for transportation.   This is a tight turn-around due to the feds’ deadlines (applications due May 19) but we’re hoping some great Green Streets-like folks apply!

Position Description:

JOBS ANNOUNCEMENT

CITY OF PORTLAND, MAINE

BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Public Services Department – grant funded project position – Seeking qualified individual to coordinate and manage a portion of the “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” grant.  This position is dedicated to developing sustainable policy and environmental strategies that improve access to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to promote active transportation and a healthy community.  This position will be housed in the Department of Public Services and work closely with the Public Health Division.  Responsibilities include: development of local roadway design standards that improve bicycle-pedestrian access and safety; assistance with bicycle-pedestrian educational and promotional campaigns; offer educational presentations to and seek feedback from a broad range of community groups and governmental agencies; build partnerships with other agencies and transportation system professionals; develop and seek endorsement of a “Complete Streets” policy.  Requires Bachelor’s degree in the area of transportation planning or related field and considerable experience in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure policies and design; Master’s Degree preferred.  Experience in planning, community-based policy development, grant funding applications, and grant management desired.  Must have excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, and ability to communicate effectively including good group process, facilitation, negotiation, and presentation skills.  $862.88/wk – minimum of pay range.

Permanent, full-time employees receive a generous benefits package which includes 12 ½ paid holidays; paid employee health insurance; sick and vacation leave; optional life, dental and income protection insurances; and tuition reduction/scholarship programs with Andover College and the University of Southern Maine.  Project employees receive all of the above benefits excluding life insurance.  Part-time employees may be eligible for a pro-rated benefits package which may include some, but not all, of the benefits listed above.

The City of Portland is strongly committed to diversity in its workforce.

Women and Minorities are encouraged to apply.

We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Send cover letter and resume to the Human Resources Office, City Hall, Room 115, 389 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101, tel. (207) 874-8624, fax (207) 874-8937, or apply online at www.portlandmaine.gov.

Accepting applications/resumes from: Monday, May 10 through Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Portland Green Streets Internship Opportunity!

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

is-this-youPortland Green Streets is excited to announce a paid Summer 2010 Internship opportunity – thanks to assistance from Healthy Portland.  Healthy Portland has received a big boost for its work to encourage Active Transportation, through a stimulus grant from the federal Health and Human Services Department.   As part of their work plan they seek to increase the fun incentives local businesses offer walkers and bikers who are Portland Green Streets participants – to build the number of people who are using active transportation in Portland.

Thus, Portland Green Streets seeks a capable and reliable Summer 2010 Intern who’s primary responsibilities would include:

Taking the Green Streets Incentives Program to the Next Level:

  • Developing and implementing the “This is a Green Streets Business” Decal Project
  • Creating online membership capability & downloadable “I’m a Green Streets Member” materials
  • Communicating with current business sponsors about their offerings & recruiting new business sponsors to boost the number and quality of freebies and discounts offered to Green Streets Day participants
  • Assessing and developing a Green Streets Discount for walking and biking to businesses anytime during the month
  • Assessing ability to develop and distribute Portland Green Streets member promotional/incentives gear online (stickers, t-shirts, etc.) & developing next generation of Portland Green Streets gear using existing funds
  • Hosting  a Green Streets presence at summer events to promote PGS incentives program

Portland Green Streets works with more than 50 green-interested local businesses and public sector organizations.  This is a great opportunity to build non-profit work experience, gain broad business exposure, and make valuable connections with those playing a lead role in green transportation and public health work in Greater Portland. Intern will also have the opportunity to help build the Active Transportation movement in Portland.

Ideal candidate will be: proficient in computer skills, self-motivated, organized, positive, and energetic – with an interest in, knowledge of, and passion for public health, small business, and/or environmental sustainability.

Position is for June – August at 20 hours/week.  Pay rate is $12/hour (note: some flexibility possible for # of hours and the time frame of internship).  Position based in Portland.  Intern will be supervised by lead organizer of Portland Green Streets with oversight from Healthy Portland.

Applicants should e-mail Sarah Cushman at portlandgreenstreets@yahoo.com with contact information, resume, references, areas of interest, and availability.