Acadia National Park (ANP) is one of Maine’s BEST places to bicycle, featuring Carriage Paths, the Park Loop Road and many other attractions.
The park is facing some extreme transportation challenges, namely, very large numbers of motor vehicles and buses on roads originally built for fewer and smaller vehicles. Inadequate parking and excessive traffic hinders visitors’ ability to enjoy places like Cadillac Mountain and Sand Beach and create hazards for all users, including cyclists.
As a result, the park is undergoing a major transportation planning project.
After receiving and reviewing extensive public imput in 2015, the ANP staff developed and recently released their “preliminary concepts” for managing increased visitation, traffic, parking, and public safety to ensure a quality visitor experience. The document contains 5 concepts for the Mount Desert Island portion of the park (including one status-quo) and 2 for the Schoodic area. Two of the MDI proposals also include limiting when bicycilsts can use parts of the park’s paved roads.
The park is to be commended for their public process and it’s essential that all bicyclists participate in this process.
After reviewing the concepts, we have developed the following position:
- The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is completely opposed to limiting access for bicyclists in the park. Bicyclists take up very little space and cause minimal wear and tear to the roads. They are carbon free, quiet, don’t cause congestion and are NOT the root cause of the transportation problems in the park.
- We do encourage limits to the number and size of private and commercial vehicles in the park during peak times. Reservations are standard for restaurants, hotels and air or bus fares and would be useful in this context.
- We also support the incentivisation and expansion of the use of the Island Explorer buses to reduce the numbers of private vehicles in the park.
- We are opposed to two-way traffic on the entire Loop Road. This will increase danger for bicyclists.
Please show the ANP how important you think bicycling is for the park. Comment via the official website by November 30th. It’s essential that there is more access and safer cycling in the final plan.