Our members’ support is crucial to the Coalition’s vitality as a nonprofit, and to our strength as a grassroots advocacy organization. This year’s end, in honor of our 25th Anniversary, we aim to recruit 250 new or returning members to make our Coalition even stronger. We hope you’ll be one of them.
Since 1992, we’ve worked to improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians in Maine, and, as a result, helped to better Maine’s environment, transportation systems, economic prosperity, downtowns, and our overall quality of life in Maine. As a member-driven, advocacy organization, the Coalition is one of the most effective statewide bike-ped advocacy groups in the U.S., boasting over 15 programs, large-scale events, and initiatives that we conduct annually.
Here are a few milestones we’ve met due to the generous support of our members over the past 25 years, along with goals that your membership donation will help us accomplish to keep making progress over the next quarter century:
Our Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education (BPSE) programs began in schools in 1994, and our curriculum has been a model for groups across the country, providing on-bike and in-classroom instruction. We want to modernize the programs by creating distance learning tools and increase hands-on learning experiences that reach more kids and adults throughout Maine.
Legislation & Policy:
We’ve worked to get laws that protect bicyclists and pedestrians passed by the Maine State Legislature, including the implementation of the 3-Foot Law, clarifications in traffic law pertaining to cyclists’ rights, and additional protections for vulnerable users of the road. There is much more to be done to address distracted driving and the endangerment of walkers and bikers on Maine’s roads. Our members’ donations and endorsements enable us to be successful advocates in the passage of such laws.
Since the launch of the program in 2011, we’ve trained and supported over 130 Community Spokes who work to make biking and walking improvements through better infrastructure, policies, or programs in their towns. We want to double the number of Spokes and have a small army of bike-ped advocates working to make every town in Maine more bikable and walkable.
We pushed for the adoption of a statewide Complete Streets policy, which the MaineDOT implemented in 2014, and we continue to be a strong partner with the MaineDOT to make sure it’s enforced.
In 2015, funded by our members, we began implementing Imagine People Here temporary infrastructure demonstrations that test out solutions to calm traffic and make the roadways safer for all users–5 of the 12 municipalities that have had an Imagine People Here installation made that treatment permanent. We want to keep encouraging and demonstrating the benefits of smart design that takes into account all users of the road.
Expanding Bike Culture and Impact:
Maine’s bicycle industry and bicycle tourism are growing stronger each year, with 65 independently-owned bike shops, dozens of successful organized rides, expanding trail systems, and lots of bike touring companies operating in the state. We want this upward trend to continue, and plan to complete an economic impact study that gives us clear data on the effects of the bicycle industry on our state. This will help us advocate for better policy, infrastructure, and promotion of bicycling in Maine for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities.