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.
We’re looking for community members to help formulate the “Sidewalk & Pathways” initiative and, if willing, lead the effort. We’re off to a strong start with lots of community support, but the BHCD Board would prefer to have non-BHCD leadership of this project. (Though many of the BHCD Board members are certainly willing to continue to help move it forward.)
The next step in moving the project forward is to develop a professional design for the overall plan—identifying the priorities for new or repaired sidewalks, assessing how best to make Blue Hill more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.
The Sidewalk team has obtained an estimate from engineering firm CES (together with Coplan Associates) for the envisioned scope of work required to apply for a MaineDOT-administered “Bicycle and Pedestrian Program” grant.
For this “pre-engineering design” work and other costs, we think we’ll need to raise roughly $20,000. So we’re reaching out to local merchants—especially those whose businesses might benefit from better connectivity—and others to raise the funds.