September 22, 2017; Portland, ME: Do you walk, bike or roll to get around? The Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) wants to know. GPCOG is launching a public outreach campaign to find out how Southern Maine residents “get there from here,” focusing on how to improve opportunities for walking, biking, wheeling (i.e., wheelchairs, skateboards, scooters) and accessing public transportation. The outreach website GettingThereME.org includes a survey and an opportunity for residents to upload photos to share their modes of transportation, in their neighborhoods and across the 18 Cumberland and York County municipalities that make up the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS).
The “Getting There From Here” campaign serves two ongoing planning initiatives: The regional Active Transportation Plan and the Transit Stop Access Project. Input from the “Getting There From Here” campaign will help guide recommendations on where and how PACTS will invest federal transportation funds.
The vision of the regional Active Transportation Plan is to have a complete network of accessible trails, paths, ways, and modes, “serving all people and places, promoting a culture of healthy living and a vibrant economy,” explains Zoe Miller, GPCOG Project Manager and Public Health Specialist.
The Transit Stop Access Project is centered around improving the accessibility of bus stops throughout the region, particularly for people with disabilities. The project will also propose locations for “transit mini-hubs.” A mini-hub is an enhanced bus stop, where riders will find additional conveniences as they transfer between buses and other forms of transportation. Improvements such as adding secure bicycle storage or lockers are just a few considerations.
“The survey and public outreach from these two projects is vital to our collective process as we shape transportation initiatives in Southern Maine,” said Miller. “We have also launched a website to map photos as residents share how they “get there from here”.
“Getting There From Here” is a project of GPCOG and PACTS. Other agencies involved in outreach include the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Disability Rights Maine. Notices have also been sent to area housing agencies, public libraries, and neighborhood associations.
The survey will be available through October 18, 2017 and the photo share on an ongoing basis.