The Bicycle Coalition of Maine would like to congratulate the Freeport Town Council for approving the 12-foot multi-use path design for the new Mallet Drive and Desert Road bridges (“Freeport to vote on $634,000 bridge replacement add-ons,” Jan. 6). As Town Council Chair John Egan noted, this is the only opportunity that exists for the next 75 years to build these bridges in a way that serves people who walk and bike to the downtown area. The coalition commends the foresight of the council and town staff for seizing this opportunity.
The next step in this process will be a vote by Freeport residents to accept the shared costs of these facilities, $634,000 over 10 years. This represents a property tax increase of about $14 per year for a homeowner with a $350,000 property.
In addition to making it safer for all road users, studies have shown that the value of investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure greatly outweighs its cost. At the BCM, we continue to work on more funding to support bicycle and pedestrian projects through state agencies, legislature, and federal support.
We applaud both Freeport and the Maine DOT for working together to design this strong bridge project that is a step towards a bike/ped network connecting the town. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine urges the people of Freeport to vote to support these projects on March 9.
Advocacy Manager, The Bicycle Coalition of Maine