Please take action to make Maine safer for biking and walking by sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
The opinion page is the 2nd-most read page in the newspaper, behind the front page. One of the best ways to educate the public and build support for the need for safer biking and walking is by populating opinion pages with letters to the editor to raise the profile and visibility of this issue at the local level.
- A few sample bike/ped-related LTEs
- Our map with info about submitting a letter-to-the-editor for every local newspaper in print in Maine
- Contact information for all Local and State Print Newspapers in Maine
- Tips for getting press
- Key points for interacting with the media
- Recording of our Community Spokes Webinar: Forming Your Message for the Media
- Letters should be no more than 200 words.
- Speak from your experience or tell a story if you can; personalizing your letter will make it more impactful.
- Make just one point in the letter; there isn’t room for more.
- Sign your letter with your name, address, phone number, and email address. The paper will usually call to confirm the letter before they run it, but won’t print your contact info unless you ask them to.
- Call the editor one or two days after submitting it to ask when they’re going to print it.
Some Suggested Angles
- Does your issue invite disagreement or address an old issue in town?
- Has some sort of significant process been made on the project? For example “the town council votes to recognize the local bike/ped committee as a town committee?”
- Is there a local celebrity who is a stakeholder?
- Human interest. A story about a senior who walks regularly, seeking safer conditions.
- Uncovered injustice. Is it fair that walkers, bikers and wheelchair users’ safety comes after the convenience of motor vehicles?
- Seasonal story. Kids going back to school, it’s time to think about walking and biking safely.
- Ironic account. Why is it so hard to walk or bike on Jones Drive?
- Councilor Clam decides to support bike lanes on Jones Drive!
- Local interest. Local kids help with bicycle and pedestrian audit.
Find Your Local Newspaper
The map does not include contact information for Maine’s two statewide newspapers: