The grassroots activism to make our streets safer and more comfortable for walkers, bicyclists, wheelchair users, and users of public transit is the “complete streets” movement. Middletown, Portland, and Durham have Complete Streets groups working with their respective towns to achieve improvements that make our streets complete in that sense – suitable for all users.
Streets, after all, are by far the largest public spaces. They should not be just for moving motor vehicles, but for active transportation (meaning, by muscle power) and community gathering. When people are walking, they meet, speak, and achieve a sense of belonging. Here are some exciting news items. Continue reading →
Portland’s Complete Streets Group has put together an in-town bike route for people who want a less strenuous ride, mostly flat, and want to stay near the town center. Below is an image of the route, but if you want to view it on Google Maps and zoom in for fine details, here is the link.
It is that time in the season when you may have more cucumbers and zucchini then you can eat or put up. If you find yourself in this situation, consider donating your excess produce to our local food pantries and put it to good use. Details for Middletown and Portland are below:
Portland’s Air Line Trail Steering Committee has worked with private property owners to define a route that would extend the trail going west from YMCA Camp Ingersoll to Route 17. The committee is in the process of requesting formal easements from these property owners. This phase 2 segment will then require state or federal funding for final design work and construction. The proposed route (shown here) makes various turns that deviate from the original Air Line Trail right-of-way, due to sand and gravel excavations underway by Butler Construction. Completion of this segment will greatly advance the ultimate goal of connecting the Air Line Trail with Portland’s town center and the Arrigoni Bridge.
The Jonah Center will help inform the public if and when emails or other expressions of support will be helpful.
In the meantime, the Air Line Trail Committee in East Hampton is attempting to bring the State of Connecticut and Eversource to an agreement regarding the 1200 foot gap that currently prevents riders from using the trail continuously from Portland to East Hampton and beyond. Utility poles need to be relocated in this section so that a boardwalk can be constructed over running water.
The Jonah Center wishes to thank the 97 individuals and organizations who contributed to our successful Replace Our Trees Campaign in Middletown and Portland. Click on the following link to view the Tree Fund Donors. Including the original financial commitment of the Jonah Center itself, individual donations, and matching funds from Sustainable CT, the Jonah Center’s Tree Fund now has $20,000 available for planting — $8,000 for Portland and $12,000 for Middletown, based on the residence of the donor. Both municipalities have lost hundreds of trees recently due to drought, pests, and disease — sources of tree stress related to climate change. Tree planting and maintenance are important ways to mitigate the effects of climate change because large, older trees absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. Continue reading →
Sidewalks are being replaced in Portland. The Town has completed nearly $1 million in sidewalk replacements funded by the Town’s voters through a ballot referendum in 2017. The Jonah Center’s recommendations of a “road safety audit” and the state’s Community Connectivity grant program led to an additional $200,000 in funding for the Town’s sidewalks.
Shown in the picture here is work underway on a stretch of new sidewalk on the northwest side of Main Street between Russell Street and Arvid Road.