...And we all do...check this out and email your thoughts to Markos Miller, who is collecting them at markosmiller [at] hotmail.com.
At the meeting last night, the Maine Department of Transportation, the city of Portland, and the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System discussed how to incorporate public participation and improve communication between official stakeholders and public observers, Miller says.
Local sustainable transportation activists are making noise about tonight's Portland City Council meeting, which takes place at 7 pm at City Hall. Fees in lieu of parking, which are described eloquently here and here, basically encourage developers to opt out of the city's parking requirements (which require builders to provide a certain amount of parking spaces depending on the building's size and use) and pay a $10,000 fee instead.
Since we no longer have the Cat ferry, we're glad there's a new, convenient way to get up to Canada. You can now fly from the Portland Jetport to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in a 90-minute direct flight going each direction once a day. Of course, doing so starts at $400 a person, so you might want to see about flying to somewhere else for less...
Portland has had a car-sharing program for approximately one year. While experts are still analyzing the numbers and what they mean for U-Car Share in Maine, here's some raw data, brought to you courtesy of Excel spreadsheets (I remember how to find averages! thanks college!) and transportation advocate/city councilor Kevin Donoghue:
As we reported last week, the Maine League of Young Voters has a new director, Will Everitt. I sat down with him at the League's office yesterday morning.
Non-profits everywhere had a hard time raising money in 2009, and the League was no different. Everitt, whose background is in fundraising and development (he led such efforts at the Toxic Actions Center and Friends of Casco Bay), is charged with righting this ship, first and foremost.
In October, the city of Portland was awarded an honorable mention by the League of American Bicyclists in their Bicycle Friendly America program. We fell short of "Bicylce Friendly Community" status, a laureled classification for which municipalities everywhere vie. Though the title carries no monetary reward, "this program offers awards of national recognition for communities that already
understand the benefits of bicycling by providing safe and plentiful bikeways
for bicyclists, bicyclists access to safe and convenient bike parking,
encouragement, and 'share the road' programs for non-cyclists," according to the Web site.
The Maine Department of Transportation is planning how to make traffic (car, bike, and foot, presumably) flow more safely and smoothly at Exit 7, off 295. But several groups, including the League of Young Voters, the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation, and the Franklin Reclamation Authority, are expressing disappointment that the most recent MDOT plan does not include a scheme to connect Franklin with Back Cove for pedestrians.
It's "Commuter Challenge" week for GoMaine, the better-transit partnership between the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority. (Yeah, yeah, we know, they're all roads-people, not bike or rail or hang-gliding promoters. They're trying, though, which is better than we might have feared.