Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Public Bike Forum - Jan. 9, 2010

I saw this on the Press Herald today...

"The city plans to hold a forum on Saturday, Jan. 9, to get public input on developing strategies to improve bicycling in the community.

One goal, according to a release put out this morning, is to help Portland become a Bicycle Friendly Community, as designated by the League of American Bicyclists.

This fall, the release said, the city was awarded an honorable mention for its application to be considered a bike-friendly community. The league suggested a number of ways Portland could improve “bikability,” the release said, including an expansion of Bike to Work Day, increasing the number of bike lines along major arterials, improving public education efforts for safety, and incorporating bicycling issues/needs in planning and large-scale development.

The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Merrill Rehearsal Hall at City Hall. Members of the public are encouraged to pre-register at"
Sign up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exit 6 Follow-Up

Allow me to share some information I received from Kathi Earley, in reference to this big post from May. Intrepid readers of this blog likely noticed that large sections of Forest Avenue were repaved and spruced up over the summer and fall. After waiting several months to see if there would be any changes to Forest Avenue where this interchange is and eventually realizing that it would be not touched, I sent an email voicing my concerns to city councilman Kevin Donoghue. Kevin forwarded my message to Kathi Earley, who along with Kevin and others serve on the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System committee.(

Here are the main points, which leave me optimistic that some issues here will be addressed someday...

  • MDOT has developed conceptual plans for making improvements to this Exit, including realignment of each ramp to 'force' drivers to slow down as they enter and exit the Highway. The City has maintained it's position thruout this project's design phase that pedestrians and bicyclists MUST be properly accommodated when MDOT constructs this project.
  • The Transportation Committee recently established the intersection area of Forest/Marginal Way/State/Kennebec as the City's primary application for 2012/2013 PACTS funding for Intersections Improvements. While this project, if funded, would not directly focus on the Exit 6 ramps, it is intended to follow improvements we expect MDOT to make and also address the Bayside Trail's alignment to reach Deering Oaks.
As mentioned in my blog post, the lack of any lighting in this area is of concern. It is said that the street lighting was eliminated due to the operating budget. Lighting is likely to be addressed when (not anytime too soon though) when the MDOT next addresses this interchange. A point was made that placing pedestrian crossing signs is tricky with these types of cloverleaf interchanges, which I understand. Obviously a completely redesigned interchange would likely be built to more modern standards which would benefit pedestrian traffic, but the current interchange will likely remain for a long time coming. In regards to my other concern of the lack of crosswalks at the entrance/exit ramps, the MDOT owns the ramps and therefore there are certain laws and regulations I am not familiar with. Kathi also mentioned that i they were allowed to put down crosswalks, that it would have to wait until warmer weather.

So, there's some follow up for you all. Hope everyone is having a good holiday season, stay safe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Adopt-a-Stop is an interesting opportunity for able bodied and public transportation minded individuals in the Portland area. The emphasis is on keeping the bus stops in Portland and South Portland clear and safe in the winter months.

Someone should urge me to sign up so I can remodel the post office bus stop. I imagine it working out like when Kramer adopted a mile of highway.


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