The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is a statewide organization working to make Maine better for bicycling and walking. We support the creation of well-designed bicycle and pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, multi-use paths, and bike lanes, wherever possible. Most bike bike riders and walkers prefer using facilities that provide some measure of separation from cars. These types of facilities lead to an increase in trips made on bike or foot, and therefore improve safety.
These conceptual plans provide a vision of a nicer concert venue and some improvements to pedestrian amenities. I like the conversion of Railroad Street into a woonerf, although I do wonder if it will fly, as that road seems to be the primary route to the parking lot down by the river. (Maybe that lot should also come out and be converted into greenspace. . . ?)
I could not find a single reference to “bicycles” anywhere in the plan, and barely any reference to pedestrians. Ease of access to the site for walkers and bicyclists is not mentioned in any of the project critera (p. 18), although it is implicit that pedestrians are being considered in the woonerf, wayfinding, and pathways in the conceptual design. I think that the designers should be asked what they are doing to accommodate persons riding bikes to the concert venue, and to the Park in general. Will the wayfinding extend beyond the immediate area of the concert venue?
As for bike facilities that I would suggest being included in this project:
- Covered bike parking at convenient locations to supplement the existing 14 should be considered. (The locations of those existing racks should be reviewed, too–are they in good spots? are they getting used? Maybe a work station, too?
- Main pathways in the park should designed at 10-12 ft widths to accommodate shared use.
- Bike lanes should be considered for Rt 202/Main Street, which is currently 5 lanes wide (two travel lanes with a center turn). Does the AADT really require that much capacity? Or perhaps a multi use side path, 12 feet wide, running on the park side of Main Street from Tim Horton’s to RR street, which would also provide improved capacity for the ped bridge over the tracks?
Public Comment from Jim Tasse, Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Reference File: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5oobu86p645ihbf/BWF_Master%20Plan_Final_revised.pdf?dl=0