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October 2015

Mayor Brennan Accepts U.S. Transportation Secretary's Challenge

By | Speak up for Biking

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan recently accepted the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s ‘Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets’ effort, which challenges city leaders to raise the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine brought together partners from the Federal Highway Administration, The City of Portland, and the Portland Bike/Ped Advisory Committee to work together on the Mayor’s Challenge. We will be serving on the Mayor’s Challenge Team where we will be focused on helping make the City’s Complete Streets Policy vision a reality.

Click Here to Read the City of Portland’ Press Release

Kittery Rt. 1 Bike/Ped Accommodations from Memorial Traffic Circle to Adams Road Intersection

By | Our Position

Summary Statement

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 riders and walkers prefer using facilities that provide some measure of separation from cars for safety, comfort and convenience. The proposed Route 1 shared use sidepath in Kittery, even with the design exception discussed below, will be a major improvement in the safety and utility of this road segment for non-motorized users.
The project discussed extends from the Memorial Traffic Circle to the intersection of Adams Road with Route 1. Contact Brian Keezer to see plans, Brian.Keezer@maine.gov.

Design Discussion

AASHTO generally does not recommend sidepaths along roadways for a variety of reasons, including issues with contraflow movements, proximity to roadway traffic, intersections, etc. Where they are used, AASHTO recommends a path 10ft wide, with a 5 ft or greater separation from the roadway. Where that amount of separation is not available, AASHTO notes that the installation of a “physical barrier or railing should be provided between the path and the roadway” (AASHTO Guide, 5-11). Narrower path widths are permissible in constrained situations.
AASHTO’s guidelines for sidepaths along roadways acknowledges that while a sub-optimal solution, they may be appropriate where:

    • “the adjacent roadway has relatively high-volume and high speed motor-vehicle traffic that might discourage many bicyclists from riding on the roadway”
    • “the sidepath is used for a short distance to provide continuity. . .”
    • “the sidepath can be built with few roadway and driveway crossings”
    • “The sidepath can be terminated at each end onto streets that accommodate bicyclist, onto another path, or in a location that is otherwise bicycle compatible.”

AASHTO is further clear that “provision of a pathway adjacent to the road is not a substitute for the provision of on-road accommodation such as paved shoulders or bike lanes, but may be considered in some locations in addition to on-road bicycle facilities” (AASHTO Guide 5-8).

Project Comments

The Kittery Sidepath Project includes a number of deviations from standard AASHTO design guidelines that the BCM agrees are justifiable due to the constraints of the project. The proposed project we are commenting on includes:

  • Changes to Rt. 1 that would narrow the travel lane to 11 feet, with a 4 foot shoulder
  • A sidepath not less than 8 ft wide, with an esplanade of not less than 2 feet, extending fromnear the Memorial Traffic Circle to Adams Road.
  • Shared Lane Markings on Adams Road spaced no further than 250 ft apart, as per MUTCDguidelines.
  • A multi-use path around the Memorial Traffic Circle of not less than 8 ft wideThe Bicycle Coalition of Maine supports these design components, which include exceptions to AASHTO standards, because the roadway in its current state:
    • is not inviting to bicyclists
    • has discontinuous, inconsistent accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians
    • does not have an excessive number of driveway and roadway crossings
    • will connect to another bicycle facility at one terminus, and to a low volume street on the other.

It is the BCM’s position that even though the Kittery Sidepath Project will not meet optimal recommended AASHTO standards, it will nonetheless significantly improve the level of service for bicycles and pedestrians along this stretch of roadway.

In Addition

  • BCM strongly recommends that, as per AASHTO guidelines, a low fence or other form of physical barrier be put on the road side of the path where the separating esplanade is less than 5 ft wide.
  • BCM recommends that a short sidewalk be constructed around the radius of the landscaped berm on the north side of the intersection of Adams to provide continuous pedestrian access onto Route 1.
  • BCM recommends that a bicycle corral be considered at the intersection of Adams Road and Route 1 in order to provide convenient bike parking at the point where the road conditions become less safe for bicycle riders, to encourage riders to park and access the Outlet area by food.
  • BCM recommends that the MaineDOT consider a future road-diet lane reduction treatment for Route 1 from Adams Road northbound (AADT <17000) in order to create space for better bicycle accommodation.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. We are happy to offer additional comments as needed.

Jim Tasse
Assistant Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine

The Coalition is Hiring!

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Event Coordinator
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is seeking an experienced Event Coordinator who will support our staff on the logistics and marketing of each of our five major events.  Events include: two Great Maine Bike Swaps in Orono and Portland in April; the Maine Women’s Ride in June; the Maine Lobster Ride in July; and, the weeklong BikeMaine event in September.
The position will include 4 primary duties:
Event Coordination – 65%

  • Coordination of event logistics
  • Supporting event project managers on all logistics and details of each major Bicycle Coalition of Maine event: the two Great Maine Bike Swaps; the Maine Women’s Ride; the Maine Lobster Ride; and, BikeMaine.
    • Contacting vendors for quotes and availability for facility use, safety services, security, food, infrastructure, etc., for each event. Maintain contracts and communications regarding payments, insurance, route logistics, etc.
    • Purchasing or renting necessary event equipment, shuttles and transportation
    • Ordering and maintaining inventory of all merchandise for each event.
    • Ordering and maintaining inventory of all event supplies
    • Continuously reviewing, (with the Coalition’s Event Team), processes and procedures to refine and improve events.
  • Management of Event Registrations
  • Setting up and managing event registration processes
  • Tracking event registrations and reporting on progress of goals
  • Providing customer support for prospective and registered event participants, sponsors and vendors.
  • Assistance with the design and documentation of routes for Women’s Ride, Lobster Ride and BikeMaine

Writer/Editor and Marketing – 20%

  • Assisting in the implementation of the marketing plan for each of the events.
  • Updating event websites, Facebook pages, and other marketing materials.
  • Writing/updating manuals, handbooks, guidelines, newsletters.
  • Developing copy for web pages, online registration and other parts of each event’s online presence.

Volunteer Management – 10%

  • Recruiting, assigning, training and managing volunteers before, during and after the 2 Bike Swaps, Women’s Ride and Lobster Ride.

General Administrative Duties – 5%

  • Answering phones and serving as receptionist for office visitors
  • Updating the Coalition’s membership database, eTapestry

Other:
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is a fun, active, and friendly workplace where teamwork and flexibility are highly valued. We’re looking for an energetic and enthusiastic new team member with fantastic organizational skills, the ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, and who enjoys working with others (staff and volunteers), as well as independently. We are seeking an individual who is passionate about the Coalition’s mission to make Maine better for biking and walking.
Our new Event Coordinator must have demonstrated experience in implementing an online and social media marketing strategy. Previous experience and knowledge of event marketing strategies is a plus. The ideal candidate must be an effective oral and written communicator.
This position requires travel, occasional overnights, and weekend hours. Candidates should be well versed in Microsoft Office applications and comfortable using a relationship management database and collaboration tools, such as Google documents and project management programs.
To apply please email a cover letter, resume and the contact information of 3 professional references to jobs@bikemaine.org by 5:00 pm, November 18th.
 

‘Complete streets’ make Maine communities more walkable, bikeable, livable

By | Coalition News

This article originally appeared on BangorDailyNews.com

Posted Oct. 13, 2015, at 11:27 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 13, 2015, at 11:47 a.m.

With over 92,000 riders logging nearly 38 million miles from May 1 to Sept. 30, the People for Bikes’ 2015 National Bike Challenge surpassed its goals of registering 75,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine saw 230 Maine cyclists register for the national challenge and ride over 157,000 miles.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy this fall issued a walk challenge of sorts with his report “ Step It Up,” a call to action for more walking by Americans and more walkable communities in the United States. At a September launch for this campaign, Murthy noted the U.S. has lost “the culture of physical activity.” The public health benefits of increasing physical activity among children and adults are many, including improved cardiorespiratory fitness and bone health, lower risk of heart disease and stroke, prevention of falls and reduced depression.
As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as walking or biking — per day could help prevent the chronic diseases from which most Americans die, according to Murthy. Yet nearly half of the country’s population lives in communities where walking is difficult and dangerous. But there are ways we can make Maine communities more livable, walkable and “bikeable.”
There is a worldwide movement to create more livable communities, especially for older adults. But not just older adults benefit from this increased attention to bicycle lanes and pedestrian and public transportation options. Millennials in Maine, like their counterparts across the country, are choosing to walk, bike, and use public transport at a higher rate than their parents and grandparents, the BDN noted in August. We should do everything we can to support this healthier and more environmentally conscious trend among young adults.
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