Input sought for Sanford’s temporary bike lane

This article originally appeared on JournalTribune.com

Input sought for Sanford’s temporary bike lane

By LIZ GOTTHELF
Staff Writer

Representatives from the City of Sanford’s planning board and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine painted a temporary bicycle lane on William Oscar Emery Drive Thursday morning. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune SANFORD — A temporary bicycle lane is in place on William Oscar Emery Drive, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine would like to know what residents think about it.

The white lane designating it for bicycle use on the side of the road adjacent to Number One Pond was painted Thursday morning and paid for by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Jim Tasse, assistant director of the Bicycle Coalition, said the lines will be on the road until early August, when the street is repaved.

The temporary bicycle lane is part of the bike coalition’s “Imagine People Here” campaign, through which the organization works with municipalities to install temporary infrastructure to demonstrate the value of designated bicycle and pedestrian space.

The coalition is gathering input on the project, and those interested in sharing their thoughts and weighing in can go to www.bikemaine.org/demosurvey.

Adding the bicycle lane on the side of the road has narrowed the traffic lane to about 11 feet, said Tasse. A narrower lane typically causes automobile traffic to drive closer to speed limits, he said.

“The intent is to show how easy and cost effective it is to calm the traffic on this wide road as well as provide safe space for bicycles to operate,” said Tasse.

The bicycle advocacy group partnered with the city on the project after Lenny Horr, chairman of the Planning Board and a bicycle enthusiast, reached out to the group and wrote a successful grant application for technical assistance, according to a press release from the city.

The temporary striping project was approved by the City Council, and councilors have said they would like to see a larger plan connecting destinations before approving anything permanent, according to city officials. The Trails Committee and Planning Board are seeking to develop a trail plan for the city through a technical assistance grant from the National Park Service, according to city officials.

“This is another step in Sanford embracing healthy living, sustainability and outdoor recreation,” said Planning Director Beth Della Valle in a written statement.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com.

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