For the first time ever, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is creating a Statewide Active Transportation Plan—and BCM is on the team developing the plan! (Click here for a one-minute overview of the ATP!)
This is an exciting opportunity to shape Maine’s bicycle and pedestrian future. We encourage you to help make the process a success by sharing your thoughts and recommendations. See below for more information on public input opportunities.
A Little Background
The MDOT is working on a “family of plans” that will all feed into their Long-Range Transportation Plan 2050. Included are the Statewide Strategic Transit Plan, the Maine State Rail Plan, Statewide Aviation Systems Plan Phase II, and the Statewide Active Transportation Plan.
Following a request for proposals, the MDOT hired VHB Consulting to develop the Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is a subconsultant of VHB helping with the creation of the plan, along with Cushman Transportation Consulting. A draft plan is expected to be released to the public in July 2022, with the final plan due by the end of year.
What is included in the Active Transportation Plan?
The ATP seeks to answer three questions:
Where are we? The plan will provide a review of existing active transportation infrastructure (defined in this plan as walking, bicycling, e-bicycling, the various ways of rolling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and, with some restrictions, trail use for motorized users). It will also review programs and policies, including bicycle and pedestrian education programming, the MaineDOT Complete Streets Policy, processes that guide the planning and development of bicycle and pedestrian projects, etc.
Where do we want to go? The plan will seek to establish goals and objectives for the active transportation program at MaineDOT. As the plan is developed, opportunities will be provided for public input on needs and priorities across the state. The plan will establish performance metrics and long-term targets for active transportation infrastructure and programs.
How do we get from where we are to where we want to go? The plan will create an implementation plan with a strategy for improving active transportation in Maine, and will help to prioritize investments in active transportation infrastructure and programs. The plan will also assess state-owned inactive rail corridors with significant potential for conversion to interim trail use.
How will public input be gathered?
Public input will be gathered through stakeholder meetings, public meetings, a survey, and public comments.
The stakeholder meetings are small invitation-only conferences for specific constituencies, such as public health, environmental, older adults, and others. The exact format of the stakeholder meetings is still being determined, however, the meetings are expected to be held in late February and March.
There will be at least two public meetings that will cover the family of plans—active transportation, rail, aviation, and transit. These will be open to any interested participants. It is important to be aware that each meeting will cover all the plans, not just active transportation. The first one is scheduled for March 15, 2022, from 6 – 8 p.m. The second one will likely take place in June.
A survey will be made available for anyone to provide input into the ATP. It will likely be open for two weeks in April.
A draft plan, expected July 2022, will be open for public comment for 30 days after its release.
Be sure you’re up to date on the latest SATP news by visiting & bookmarking this link.