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.
Support the South St. Sidewalk Project
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 determined that it will not make any awards under its Bicycle and Pedestrian Program this year. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that our application was awarded sufficient “points” to have been selected if MaineDOT had followed their normal course of action.
In addition, having identified the areas in which our application was not awarded the full number of points possible, we are now in a position to revise the application to increase our score. This will not require any changes to the design of the project; instead, we need to clarify some aspects that the reviewers did not understand and to make some other changes to the way the project is presented.
We hope to make these changes and have the Town submit the revised application in August 2018.
The Town of Blue Hill has filed an application with MaineDOT for $400,000 of state/federal funds (to match a $100,000 local contribution by the Town) toward the redevelopment of South St. between the rotary and The Bay School.
If approved, the funds would be available in 2020.
For those who are interested, the application as filed can be downloaded from the following links:
The Town voted on Saturday to put into place a mechanism to match sidewalk grants. BHCD is seeking donations to fund a $20,000 engineering assessment as a next step; almost $9,000 has been raised so far.
As part of the effort to update the community on the current status and scope of the Sidewalks and Pathways Initiative, a “Fact Sheet” has been developed. It outlines what is contemplated by the Initiative, plans for funding the work and status of the Initiative’s efforts to raise the requisite funds for pre-application engineering work and for the “local contribution” portion of the Maine state grant program.