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November 2016

Acadia National Park Transportation Concepts Position

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

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.
Click here for the official comment website.
Click here for a link to the concepts.

2016 Annual Appeal

By | Coalition News, Featured Posts

CLICK HERE TO GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFER BICYCLING

Dear Friend:
What steps do you take to keep yourself safe when riding? Perhaps you’re someone who wears hi-visibility clothing, or always uses hand signals when turning? Maybe you use lights year-round or consistently make eye contact with drivers. These safe riding practices are all tools in each rider’s saddlebag, and along with consistent, legal riding techniques, will keep us all safer. Another one of these tools is a bicycle helmet. While wearing a helmet will not singularly keep you safe, in the event of a crash, it does provide up to an 88% reduction in head and brain injury, and can very well save your life.
We need your help this year-end because not every Maine family can afford to purchase a bicycle helmet for their child. The sad truth is that not every young bike rider can afford the basic equipment that helps keep them safe. We want to ensure that all children who are in need have access to high quality bicycle helmets and proper bicycle safety education, so they can develop a healthy, active lifestyle, and benefit from biking as a lifelong sport and mode of transportation. Your gift this year-end can help make this goal a reality.
screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-2-46-06-pmWe pride ourselves on our effective and far-reaching education program. Through this program, we have distributed over 5,000 FREE helmets to children around the state at community events, schools, bike rodeos and health fairs. We have seized opportunities to educate young riders about safe bike driving and to properly fit them with a helmet.
At the beginning of this year, we learned suddenly that the funding for our Helmet Program was no longer available. Historically, we have distributed over 1,600 helmets annually to children in need. This year, we found ourselves without the necessary funds to purchase helmets on the same scale as in previous years. Over the past 10 months alone, we have fielded requests from partners, schools and other organizations for over 1,000 helmets that we cannot fulfill due to lack of funding for the program.
We need your help to revitalize our Helmet Program for 2017.
It costs just $12 to equip a child with a helmet and educate them about how to ride their bicycle safely and legally. Your donation to this program will help protect some of the most vulnerable users of the road, and ensure that children can enjoy riding their bikes with the basic protective gear we take for granted.
During this season of giving, give the gift of safer bicycling. Please make a year-end contribution today and help us reach our goal of $12,000, or 1,000 helmets that will protect the heads of the next generation of bicyclists.
Most sincerely,
Nancy Grant
Executive Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine

CLICK HERE TO GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFER BICYCLING