Bangor Area Bike and Pedestrian Safety Forum
- Written by Karina Bolster
BANGOR – It’s almost that time of year when you start to see hundreds of bicycles out on the roadways. With that come safety hazards, whether your pedaling or walking.
Officials are saying slap it on before you hop on the bike or hit the road at night and even during the day. Reflective gear is of utmost importance as it helps illuminate one’s body to oncoming traffic.
This is just one of the goals that the community transformation grant program hopes to address.
“Throughout the course of the grant we’ve been focused on bring communities together to work locally on the environment and how it works with the safety in concerns to walking, biking, sidewalks, crosswalks, and so on,” Alexia Corbett, grant coordinator for Penquis Public Health District, says.
Those solutions were the topics of discussion at a bike and pedestrian safety forum Thursday.
Shocking statistics on the number of accidents and fatalities all due to unguarded travel methods.
“Nationally about 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually,” Jim Tasse, Director of the Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education Program, says. “There are somewhat fewer bicyclists that are.”
Maine Department of Transportation has reported that one pedestrian is killed daily as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
“It’s a pretty serious problem,” Tasse says. “There are things that can be done, and they can. The short answer is changing our roadway culture.”
Like how we behave on the road, how others may view it, and to become more educated on the rules.
Those include bicyclists traveling with traffic, while runners or pedestrians travel against.
But if those rules tend to confuse you, just remember one thing, to slap it on.
If you would like to become an advocate for safety while biking or walking, or want to help your community create more opportunities for those activities check out the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s “Community Spokes Program“.