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Portland Green Streets » 2010 » June

Archive for June, 2010

Sign in for Green Streets Day – Friday, June 25th!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

rob taking the busThe days are looooonnnngggg – enjoy getting around green this month!

Please take 30 seconds to  Sign in Here for Green Streets Day – Friday, June 25th.  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!

Stencil Your Own Green Streets T-Shirt @ Munjfest 2010 – Special Celebration of the Bicycle!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Rachel's Bike - decorated - croppedMunjfest – Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood celebration of summer – will be held on Sunday, July 18 from 11am-4pm, as always on Congress Street at the top of the East End.  This year organizers are going all out with a Lovefest for the Bicycle theme for people of all ages and abilities.  And Green Streets is joining the fray with volunteers and a Print-Your-Own Green Streets T-Shirt Party!

So bring yourself , a favorite blank t-shirt (preferably green!) and your dear old bike out for some fun with a:

  • Bike Decorating Party
  • Grand Bike Parade (rumor has it that the Grand Marshall may be Bruce Hyman, the City of Portland’s new Bike-Pedestrian Coordinator)
  • Kids Bike Raffle of 5 reconditioned bikes – a recycling of good bicycles!
  • Bike Safety Q & A Station – for those burning “What am I Really Supposed to do in This Particular Road Situation??” questions
  • Free Check-Up from a Local Bike Shop
  • Print-Your-Own Green Streets T-Shirt Party! (we’ll have a station set up with stencils of the new Portland Green Streets logo – and black and white options of ink to print with.  We’ll also have some t-shirts on hand for $5 if you don’t have one of your own)

Volunteer with Green Streets at the Event!

Whether or not you have a bike or use other alternate transportation to get around, we’d love to have you volunteer with us at Munjfest! We’ll need folks to help with various Munjfest organizing activities (the bike decorating party, the parade, the biking Q&A, etc. – and also to host the Green Streets table and star in the T-Shirt Printing Party).  Please select a stint you can help out on this Doodle schedule (it takes 30 seconds – no registration required), put it on your calendar, and we’ll be in touch!

Neighbors, Vendors, Local Businesses and Exhibitors

Interested in entering your dog in the Annual MunjMinster Dog Talent show? Interested in getting involved or sponsoring? Fill out the following form: MunjFest 2010! Form; Call: 207-773-4336 or e-mail: info@munjoyhill.org

Transportation Events, News & Opportunities – June, July

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Portland Green Streets Calendar

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

BY JULY 1 – Concerned about I-295 Exit 7 Pathway?  Stay Tuned and/or Get Involved with Exit 7 Path Yahoo Group – Possible Public Meeting July 28

This is not yet completely official, but we’re hearing that MaineDOT and the City of Portland will be holding a public meeting on Wed. July 28th to address the proposed Scope of the upcoming Phase 2 study of the Franklin Street redesign and to give an update/answer questions on plans for Exit 7. Please mark your calendars and spread the word.

An effort is being made to get questions regarding Exit 7 to MaineDOT in advance of the meeting so that they have ample time to come with answers. Please send your questions to Alex Landry at city_mouse_us@yahoo.com by July 1 for inclusion in a letter to MDOT.

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

Bike Commuting Mentoring Matchboard!

Announcing, the Mentoring Matchboard! Join the Portland Bike Commuter Meetup if you haven;t already (it’s free) – and check out the great new message board for bike commuting mentors and mentees to find each other. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A MENTOR, OR WOULD LIKE TO BE A MENTOR, just leave a message with your route information. Please read the two threads at the top of the Mentoring Matchboard for how the Meetup envisions it working.

Become a Friend of the Falmouth Flyer!

Friend the Falmouth Flyer on Facebook! Riding the Falmouth Flyer (METRO Bus #7) – to see friends and family, do an outing at ME Audubon’s Gilsland Farm, shop at local businesses in Falmouth or Portland, take in a movie, etc. is a great way for Greater Portland residents to support our region, save gas money, lead a more active lifestyle, increase our country’s energy security, and have fun.  So join Friends of the Falmouth Flyer!

Summer Youth Bus Passes Available

For only $20, children and teens – ages 18 and younger – can ride METRO and the South Portland City Bus from June through August. For more information, visit www.gpmetrobus.com or contact: Denise Beck – dbeck@gpmetrobus.com

Green Streeter Bruce Hyman Hired to be New Portland Bike-Pedestrian Coordinator

Experienced local planner and Green Streeter Bruce Hyman was just hired by the City of Portland to be the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.  Part of the “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” grant, this 2-year position is dedicated to developing sustainable policy and environmental strategies that improve access to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and promote active transportation and a healthy community.  Bruce will be housed in the Department of Public Services and work closely with the Public Health Division.  Responsibilities will include the development of local roadway design standards that improve bicycle-pedestrian access and safety; assistance with bicycle-pedestrian educational and promotional campaigns; offering educational presentations to and seeking feedback from a broad range of community groups and governmental agencies; building partnerships with other agencies and transportation system professionals; developing and seeking endorsement of a “Complete Streets” policy.  The City had a strong pool of applicants with great work experience and passion for bicycle and pedestrian concerns – so thank to those who applied and congratulations to Bruce!  This is great news for the bicycle and pedestrian world.

Veterans Memorial Bridge Replacement Project Traffic Impacts and Announcements

Construction on the Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects Portland and South Portland off of Route 295, begins this Monday, June 21st.

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians should be aware that during construction, there will be a full closure of the existing Veterans Memorial Bridge southbound sidewalk and shoulder starting Monday, June 28. There will also be daily southbound lane closures as necessary during off-peak traffic hours for construction activities. Traffic during peak hours on weekdays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. will not be affected.

The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in summer 2012, at which time the old Veterans Memorial Bridge will be removed. The entire project will be complete by December 2012.  “Since the existing bridge will remain open during construction of the new bridge, disruption to traffic is expected to be minimal,” says Jeff Folsom, project manager from The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT).

The project team, made up of MaineDOT, Reed & Reed, Inc., T.Y. Lin and their subcontractors spent the last three months conducting a series of meetings with stakeholder groups.  A variety of citizens representing public works, bike/pedestrian groups, Portland Trails, veterans groups, city officials, neighbors and nearby businesses provided detailed recommendations on various design elements of the bridge.

The resulting bridge design incorporates 3 overlooks on the bridge and two landscaped parks on each end to reinforce the gateway experience.  The Portland side will feature a memorial park recognizing the five branches of the military while the memorial park on the South Portland will be dedicated to the merchant marines.  The three overlooks along the bridge will feature interpretive installations with emphasis on area historical, marine, environmental and transportation-related topics.

The project website www.VeteransMemorialBridge.org will be updated regularly to include traffic updates, possible detours and progress on construction.