The Blue Hill Connectivity Project seeks to make Blue Hill more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly by improving the extent and condition of our network of sidewalks and signage for pedestrians and cyclists. The hope is that, if successful, a substantially greater number of residents and visitors to Blue Hill will take a healthful walk or bicycle ride around town.
The Town of Blue Hill has been awarded an 80% matching grant to construct sidewalks on South St. The remaining 20% will come from a combination of private and Town funds. You can donate via the PayPal button (below) or send a check to BHCD noting South St. Sidewalks in the memo area.
The project grew out of discussions amongst a range of South Street organizations. With the arrival of the Harbor School, the Co-op and the Bagaduce Music Lending Library on South Street, local property owners began to explore ways to improve safe pedestrian and bicycle access to the schools, retailers, and other facilities located between the Bay School and the roundabout at the top of Tenney Hill.
From those initial discussions, the project group was formed and has expanded the scope of its pedestrian and bicycle access review to include other streets in and around the “village” portion of Blue Hill, where the concentration of schools, businesses and public facilities is such that pedestrian access is supported. While the group recognizes that any such upgrade of facilities will likely be completed over time in several phases, they believe that considering and prioritizing each segment within a more comprehensive strategy is the best way to move forward.
MaineDOT has posted an “on-demand public meeting” on its website with respect to the proposed project to construct a sidewalk on South Street from Tradewinds to the Bay School.
THE COMMENT PERIOD WILL CLOSE ON FEBRUARY 19, 2021.
The scope of the proposed project was reduced from building sidewalks on both sides of the street due to higher project costs estimated by MaineDOT and the $400,000 maximum size of the grant awarded to cover 80% of the cost. (The Town of Blue Hill has previously voted to appropriate $100,000, representing the 20% local contribution to the project.)
The link to view the video and provide comments to MaineDOT is available for both desktop and mobile users.
The effort to obtain a Federal grant under the state’s “Bicycle and Pedestrian Program” to make South Street more walkable and bikeable continues to move ahead.
One aspect of the approval process was that the project team indicated that they would make an effort to offset the cost of the Town’s matching funds (20%) with private donations.
A letter and connectivity map was mailed this week to all Blue Hill residents making the case for individual donations. Although the letter did not specify a deadline, the plan is to provide all donated funds to the Town in early 2020.
Last Friday, Selectman Vaughn Leach announced that Blue Hill has been awarded a $400,000 MaineDOT grant (with another $100,000 to come from local resources) to design and construct sidewalks along approximately 1,800 feet of South Street. The project is currently slated for funding and construction in 2021.
Continue reading “Blue Hill Awarded MaineDOT Grant for South St. Sidewalks”
At the February Main Street meeting, Bruce Stahnke gave a presentation on the work done over the last three years to develop a Town-wide plan for improving both bicycle and pedestrian access.
For those of you who missed the meeting, or those who attended and would like a copy, click the button below to download a (33MB!) PowerPoint file with his presentation.
The presentation outlines design ideas for Main Street, South Street and trails in the Blue Hill “village” area.
The Blue Hill Select Board voted today to re-submit our request for a MaineDOT grant to provide for improved pedestrian access along South St.
Continue reading “Another Try for a MaineDOT Grant”