In the not-too-distant future Portland will have two new/reconstructed bridges on opposite sides of the peninsula. To the north, the Martin's Point Bridge that carries Route 1 traffic from Portland to Falmouth is to be reconstructed starting in 2014. To the south, the Veteran's Memorial Bridge which also carries Route 1 but from Portland to South Portland, will be rebuilt starting this summer.
I wasn't around when either of these bridges were built initially, but I doubt that there was as much public participation in the design and planning process back then as there is these days. There have been workshops for the public concerning the new Veteran's Memorial Bridge (I unfortunately wasn't able to attend due to work/school) and the city is looking for members of the public to join a committee for the Martin's Point Bridge reconstruction project.
The Martin's Point Bridge is currently the more pedestrian/bike friendly route, and both bridges promise to be much more accommodating to non-vehicular traffic when they are completed. Maybe it's just the optimistic spring weather getting to me, but I felt like writing a positive post today. I urge everyone to get involved with the design process of these and other infrastructure projects around town.