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Portland Green Streets » 2010 » December

Archive for December, 2010

Reminder: Green Streets Director/RFP Applications Due by Jan 20th!

Monday, December 27th, 2010

is-this-youDear Friend of Portland Green Streets,

Since 2007, Sarah Cushman has been instrumental in leading our grassroots fight for sustainable ways to commute to work. She launched the monthly Green Streets commute-another-way celebration in Greater Portland, grew the list of businesses offering incentives to those using alternate modes of transportation, facilitated the development of our informational website and e-newsletter, and knitted together Green Streeters of all types to show how we are all part of something bigger. Our organization now has more than 1,900 Greater Portlanders who subscribe to our mission.

After three years Sarah is ready to pass the reins to new leadership for Portland Green Streets. She has generously agreed to continue with us for six months so that the transition to a new Director is as smooth as possible and includes an overlap with her successor. She will also still serve on the Board of Directors.

To advance our ongoing community projects, the Board of Portland Green Streets is launching a search for a new Director. Please review the posting for the position and application details on our website. Parallel to this effort, we are also asking for proposals from partner organizations who might consider incorporating Portland Green Streets as a project within their programming.

Please consider sharing the position posting and Request for Proposals with any individual or organization you know that may be interested and qualified.  And we welcome you to stop by the monthly Green Streets Volunteer Social on January 17th, from 5:30-7pm at Hilltop Coffee Shop (90 Congress St.) to discuss either of these prospects further. Both are great opportunities, Portland Green Streets is a wonderful initiative, and we’re poised to change transportation behavior ever more toward sustainable modes in Greater Portland.

As always, thanks for your support. We will update you when the search is complete.

Most Sincerely,

Keith Gosselin signature
Keith Gosselin
Board of Directors

Sign In for Green Streets Day – Friday, December 31st!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Snow-covered bike - mid-storm winter 2010As always, please sign in now here if you plan to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or telecommute this New Year’s Green Streets Day – Friday, December 31st!

Also – just to make clear – even though this Green Streets Day is also during a holiday weekend for some of us, you don’t have to be headed anywhere to qualify (just not getting into a car by yourself that day).

So please travel and celebrate the New Year safely – and just like the Friday after Thanksgiving, a little walking (or biking) will burn those extra calories right off… :)

Transportation News & Opportunities – Dec, Jan

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Portland Green Streets Calendar

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

General/Funding Related:

Go Maine’s Commuter Champion Award – Nominate Yourself or Someone You Know!

GO MAINE has started a new Commuter Champion Award  to recognize individuals in Maine who model smart commuting choices. Every month a new Commuter Champion will be chosen from peer nominations and honored with a $50 gift card.  The nominator will also receive a $50 gift card.  We’ll feature the Commuter Champion in a story on the GO MAINE website, in the GO MAINE Newsletter, and on the GO MAINE Facebook page.  We’d like people to nominate their friends, family, or co-workers that they believe are great commuters.  We want to recognize and honor the folks that go the distance and make commuting fun and enjoyable. If you know someone who deserves to be a Commuter Champion, nominate them today!  Send nominations to gomaine@gpcog.org

Donate to the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MaST) and Get Involved!

The Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MaST) has been working hard in 2010  to make sure that all Mainers have access to affordable, reliable and sustainable transportation options.  As 2010 is winding down, and we look forward to 2011, we want to make sure the League of Young Voters and MaST remain at the forefront of expanding public transit across the state of Maine, and that Portland and other towns can have affordable, sustainable and accessible transportation options for all our residents. That’s why MaST needs to ask for your help today.

MaST is hoping to raise $1,000 dollars in support of its transportation work between now and Jan 1st. You can help by making a donation of $25, $50, or whatever you can. Please take a minute and donate here: action.theleague.com/donate-me Can’t make a donation this month? That’s cool, we’d love your time, too. Just shoot Hilary Frenkel, MaST organizer, an email and she’ll get you signed up to help.

Bicycle-Pedestrian Related

Bring Bicycle-Pedestrian Safety Education to Your Local School

Please encourage your local school(s) to arrange for a free presentation on bicycle and pedestrian safety by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.  The Coalition’s trained instructors will teach students the basics of commuting to school safely by bike and foot.  For more information, please contact Jim Tasse, the coalition’s education director.

Bike-Savvy Volunteer Needed in Springvale

A bike-savvy person is needed to volunteer in the after-school program at the Nasson Community Bicycle Center in Springvale.  The volunteer would spend two days per week  helping students with bike maintenance, trip planning, art projects, bike rides and the like. For information, contact Maryalice Walker.

Go for Walk Friendly Community Designation in Your Community!

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has officially launched Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a national recognition program to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for safe walking. Assessing communities’ commitment to improve conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort, PBIC will recognize communities that set the bar in fostering and accommodating walking. In August, the WFC program accepted nine communities to test the pilot application and the online assessment tool. The program began accepting applications nationwide in November 2010.

At the core of the WFC program is a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates community walkability and pedestrian safety through questions related to engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. The assessment tool questions are intended to both evaluate conditions for walking and provide communities with feedback and ideas for promoting pedestrian safety and activity. Communities that are interested in the WFC program are encouraged to visit www.walkfriendly.org to download a print version of the assessment tool.

Bike Commuter Education Program on the Move

The Bike Commuter Education Program, a joint effort of GO MAINE, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and MaineDOT, is off and running. Or should we say off and riding? And they can come to your workplace too.

The new bike commuter program is designed to assist businesses that want to promote cycling within their organization and help the cyclists who want to commute by bike, and it’s all FREE.

To support businesses, the program offers guidance on creating a bicycle friendly culture in an organization, understanding the needs of a cyclist who rides to and from work, and outlining what facilities a cyclist would typically want at the workplace. While having all the facilities like showers and lockers is nice, it’s not a deal breaker. When an organization understands the cyclist’s perspective, many different options are possible. This program offers that type of guidance to businesses.

To support the cyclist, the program offers on-site training seminars by qualified cycling instructors. These sessions are adapted to the time available to employees during the day or scheduled after hours, at the business’ and employees’ convenience. Through these, existing or would-be cyclists can learn the realities of cycling to and from work and the hard skills that go with it. Topics include setting realistic goals, managing a work out on your way to work, bikes and other equipment, riding techniques, route selection, night riding, and general traffic safety. These classes are taught by instructors who speak from experience and are trained in safe cycling practices. Classes are for novice to intermediate cyclists of all ages.

For more information about the program and to schedule a visit to your place of business, please contact Erik West at ewest@gpcog.org or at 207-774-9891.

Public Transit Related

METRO Route & Service Updates

Specific service changes planned for January- effective January 9th – are listed below:

  • Route #2
    • No service to Pride and East Bridge Streets and Millbrook Estates:
      Mon.- Fri.: 8:05 & 10:05 a.m./4:25 & 5:45 p.m. Sat.: 9:40 & 11:40 a.m./2:40 & 7:45 p.m.
  • Route #4
    • Saco Street service expanded to include additional service to Eisenhower Drive into the Five Star Industrial Park and IDEXX.
    • Service to Route #25, New Gorham Rd. and Longfellow Street will be discontinued.
    • No Mon. – Fri. service via Forest/Woodfords. Weekend service will remain the same (except no service to Juniper Lane).
    • Mon-Fri. trips to 6:55 p.m. will service Shaw’s inbound and outbound.
  • Route #6
    • No service to Falmouth Crossing at: Mon.-Fri.: 9:10 & 11:10 a.m./2:45 & 4:45 p.m.
    • Falmouth Crossing service by request after 6:45 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays.
  • Route maps and schedules are online at www.gpmetrobus.com. Updated Regional Transit Guides, with January service change information, will be available late December/early January on METRO buses, the METRO Pulse at Elm Street in Portland, the METRO office at 114 Valley St. in Portland and several convenient locations along bus routes.
  • Beginning Monday, November 1, 2010 METRO Lunch Hop was discontinued. METRO’s Lunch Hop had previously provided free daily bus rides from  11 a.m. to 2 p.m. between Longfellow Square and Exchange Street in Portland.
  • School Discount Program Additions: METRO welcomes Cheverus and St. Brigid Schools to our student discount program. These schools join Portland, Westbrook, Falmouth Waynflete, Cathedral, Cheverus and Friends Schools in offering METRO Student Fare Cards to their students for reduced bus fare. These cards can also be used for school field trips. For additional information on routes and student discounts, visit us online at www.gpmetrobus.com, call 774-0351 or contact us via e-mail.

Adopt-a-Stop!

We all know about the problem of poor access to many bus stops during the winter.  Robert Wagner, a long-time advocate for transportation improvements, is the volunteer coordinator for an effort to organize volunteers to agree to keep specific bus stop locations in Portland and South Portland clear of snow, etc., for a period of a year. He hasn’t had many takers so far, but this sure sounds like a way for us to help where no one else is dealing with the problem. Check the website: www.Adopt-A-Stop.org or call him at (207) 408-4404.

Check out the New Brunswick Explorer Bus

We’re excited about this new transportation option in Brunswick! Buses run hourly from 7:30am to 5:30 pm, Monday-Friday, from Mallard Pond passing Parkview, Bowdoin, and Hannaford and ending at Sweetser. $1 buys a one-way fare, or ride all day for only $2. Buses feature low-floor easy boarding, bike racks, and hybrid-electric design to decrease emissions. More info at www.brunswickexplorer.org.

Live in the midcoast? Check out the midcoast ride finder website to search for public transportation options, including rail, bus, and ferry.

Become of Fan of the Falmouth Flyer

For info and fun updates on METRO’s #7 bus, also known as the Falmouth Flyer, check out the “Friends of Falmouth Flyer Bus” Facebook page or contact Annie Finch: 781-8079 afinch@usm.maine.edu And be sure to post about your own rides!  Often at risk of being cut as a service route, this is an easy way you can support this important access to shops and appointments in Falmouth, school field trips, and to downtown Portland.

AMTRAK Downeaster

  • Seniors Ride Half Price Everyday – Winter is a great time to travel on the Downeaster. Seniors ages 62+ ride for half-price everyday. Pay $24 or less for round-trip travel between Portland and Boston. To receive this discount you must reference code v543.
  • Remember Kids Ride Free on Sundays! Kids love to travel on the train, and parents love it too! The Downeaster makes family excursions AFFORDABLE because kids ride half price everyday and free on Sundays. Tickets must be purchased at least three days in advance of travel.  Reference promotion code v581.

Employers – Check Out METRO’s Bus Incentive Program for Employees

The METRO Bus is introducing an incentive program that encourages Maine employees to choose transit instead of driving to work.  They are offering employers fully or partially subsidized monthly passes to their employees.   By not driving, you can save hundreds of dollars per year…extra money that you can use for mortgage payments, college tuition, vacations, or anything you want. Whether you have five employees or over 5,000 employees, it just makes good business sense to participate.  This transit benefit not only encourages employees to use public transit to commute to work, it also reduces the need for available employee parking and helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Now there are incentives to make participating in METRO’s plan an even better deal for employers and their employees.

  • Tax Savings
  • Promote “Green” Transportation
  • Save $$
  • Free up valuable parking spaces

METRO will work with your business to provide a risk-free trial program that works for you and your employees. See here to learn more.