On March 23, BHCD held its first “town forum,” inviting members of the Blue Hill community to learn about BHCD and its aspirations and about the first BHCD project, the Sidewalks & Pathways Initiative. The forum was attended by roughly 65 participants.
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.
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.
After some discussion, BHCD has decided to host a community forum at which a representative of American Cruise Lines (ACL) would (hopefully) share the company’s plans for visiting Blue Hill over the summer—how they plan to get visitors from the South Blue Hill wharf to downtown shops, what other “shore activities” they envision offering, how they plan to work with local merchants, service providers, etc.