Portsmouth’s Planning Board has adopted a voluminous and detailed master plan for the city’s bicycle and pedestrian future. The long-term goal is to create a largely unbroken network of safe and useful bike paths and pedestrian walkways throughout the city.
A draft version of Portsmouth’s Bike-Pedestrian Master Plan presented to the Planning Board Thursday, July 17, envisions making a portion of Market Street — between Bow Street and Market Square — for bikes and pedestrians only.
The plan from Toole Design Group (which did Boston’s bike-ped plan) and city staff also recommends dozens of intersection changes and:
Wider sidewalks and parallel parking (instead of angled parking) around Market Square
A “contraflow” bike lane and one lane for motor vehicles for a short section of State Street
A bike-ped system including a long path parallel to Islington Street, along the railroad tracks
An impressively detailed draft version of Portsmouth’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was unveiled during a session June 5 at the public library. (Watch video)
With perhaps 75 people looking on, city officials and Toole Design Group, a planning firm that specializes and bicycle and pedestrian planning (and was the consultant for Boston’s bike-pedestrian master plan) described techniques for improving walkability and bikeability and displayed about about a dozen maps on the Levenson Room’s walls. The maps showed where people walk and bike today, where there are opportunities for improvement, and where there are constraints on making improvements. (For a short while, more public input can be added to the city’s Bike-Ped Wikimap.)
Fully implemented, the plan could result a sophisticated walk-bike network for the city. However, absent a sudden infusion of cash, bike-ped improvements will evolve slowly. City planner Juliet Walker and the Toole Design Group plan to rank potential projects by their importance for safety, availability of funding, ease of implementation, public enthusiasm and other factors.
Redhook Brewery is hosting a screening of The Long Bike Back, and the subjects of the film, Pearson and Pete Constantino, will bike to the event on their way from New York to Maine on a New England tour to promote safer roads. The screening is followed by a Q&A with Pearson, Pete, and the film’s director, Julia Wrona.
The Long Bike Back chronicles Pearson Constantino’s recovery from a devastating hit-and-run crash and his exciting bike ride across America with his brother Pete advocating for safer roads and reminding people of the joy of riding a bicycle.
Now Pearson and Pete Constantino are traveling again by bike, this time across New England to celebrate National Bike Month and share the documentary.
As work on Portsmouth’s Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan nears the halfway mark, the city has published a draft showing existing conditios: where people bike and walk to, the conditions along the way, and where there have been accidents,