Blog : Green Alliance Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Transportation

By Craig | Aug 20, 2014 | in

On August 20, the Green Alliance hosted a round table discussion with New Hampshire First District Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter to discuss the future of alternative transportation in the state including, rail systems, additional commuter transport, bicycle and walking routes and lower gas taxes.

"New Hampshire is moving forward, but there is still work to be done," said Shea Porter.

Congresswoman Shea Porter was joined by Congressman Earl Blumeneur of Oregon's Third District as well as many local businesses and companies such as: COAST, Gus' Bicycles, N.H. Bike-Walk Alliance, East Coast Greenway Alliance, Portsmouth Public Works, C&J Trailways, Memorial Bridge Designer HNTB, Pike Industries, Rockingham Planning Committee, N.H. DOT, Portsmouth Planning Department, Southern N.H. Planning Committee and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) N.H. Division.

Though the discussion ranged from building a bike trail from the northern corner of Maine to the Florida Keys, to the poor infastructure of the state's roadways and transportation, it also broached topics like keeping New Hampshire's recent graduates to live and work in New Hampshire by providing them the opportunities for less expensive and alternative commuting options.

The roundtable format gave representatives of each attending business the chance to voice their concerns regarding the state's approach to improve roadways, reducing emissions and connecting different parts of the state with alternative transportation options. From business leaders to the workers on the job site, the day's discussion covered nearly every point of view. Congressman Blumeneur shared his experience working with the city of Portland, Oregon and how, by adding rail cars for local commuters, the city has blossomed economically and creatively.

Shea Porter was complimentory of the work the city of Portsmouth has done to make living, working and running small businesses on the seacoast as readily accessible to residents as possible. Part of that plan was the reconstruction of the Memorial Bridge which offers expanded bike lanes and sidewalks. The Memorial Bridge reopened in August of last year.

"We would've been in trouble if we didn't have that bridge," said Shea Porter referencing the bridge's importance to local business in both downtown Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Both Congresswoman Shea Porter and Congressman Blumeneur recognize the difficulties the public feels with Congress, but agree that should not stop the public from voicing their opinions and expressing their frustrations.

"We're listening," said Shea Porter. "We won't let [your concerns] fall into a black hole."