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BCM Comments on Kittery Neighborhood Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan

The Kittery Area Comprehensive Transportation System (KACTS) and the Town of Kittery are working together, with consultants Sebago Technics and Alta Planning + Design, to develop a long-term vision for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety and study bike/ped accommodation along the Route 1 Bypass from Memorial Circle to the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine presented formal comments on the study on April 22, 2015
To the Town of Kittery
RE: Kittery Neighborhood Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan
On behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, I would like to offer the following preliminary comments regarding bike/ped conditions and opportunities within the project area described in Sebago Tech’s progress report on the Kittery Neighborhood study. Please note that we have only ground-truthed a limited number of the roads in the study area. I would be happy to work more closely with Sebago and Alta with suggestions.
Pedestrian Accommodations

  1. As Sebago’s preliminary report indicates, the study area does have some sidewalks and shoulders, but there are discontinuities in the sidewalk system. Apparently, at least one sidewalk is budgeted for Old Post Road.
  2. If the Rt 1 ByPass is envisioned as a commercial or residential area in the future, sidewalks may to be a desired feature. There are no sidewalks currently on the ByPass.
  3. The lack of a sidewalk on the Sarah Long Bridge is suboptimal for pedestrian safety.

Bicycle Accommodations

  1. The following comments assume that the width information provided in Sebago’s report refers to usable pavement in the travelled way.
  2. As a general rule, to optimize bicycle functionality, we recommend travel lanes less than 11 feet, and shoulders or bikelanes 4-5 feet wide. A documented benefit of narrowing travel lanes is better compliance with posted speed limits and reductions in crashes; wider shoulders also provide space for bicycles and/or pedestrians. MaineDOT supports reductions down to 10.5 ft even on some arterials (including Rt 1). Shoulders in areas where bike traffic is expected should be considered for bike lane stenciling.
  3. On all roadways in the study area where the posted speed limit is 30 mph or less and the total cross section of the traveled way is 28 feet or more, 10 ft travel lanes and 4ft minimum shoulders (wider is preferred) should be considered. This includes Old Post Road, Cook Street, and Bridge Street.
  4. On all roadways in the study area where the posted speed limit is 30 mph or less and the total cross section of the traveled way is less than 28 ft, SLMs (sharrows) placed 4-6 feet from the curb, with Bicycles May Use Full Lane and new MaineDOT 3 Feet Minimum to Pass signage should be considered. This includes South Eliot Road and Old Post Road south of Rt. 103 (i.e. between 103 and Bridge St).
  5. For a more innovative treatment that will calm traffic and improve bicycling conditions on the slower, narrower roads mentioned above, consider removing the centerline and using advisory bike lanes 5ft wide on either side. MUTCD authorizes removal of centerlines on roadways with fewer than 6000 cars per day; see MUTCD, 2009 edition, Section 3B-01, pg. 349.
  6. On all roadways in the study area where the posted speed limit is greater than 30 mph and the total cross section of the traveled way is 30 ft, or more, ≤11 foot travel lanes and shoulders of 5 or more should be considered. The higher the posted speed, the wider the shoulder. This includes Dennett St and the Bypass. It appears that these recommendations are currently met in some places on these roads.
  7. The ByPass is posted as a 35mph road, but the geometry and striping of the road seems to invite speeds of 50 mph or better. Shoulder width is inconsistent, especially near the bridge. Narrower travel lanes and consistent 6 foot shoulders on this road should be considered through the study area to improve speed compliance and to provide consistent accommodation for non-motorized users.
  8. The shoulder chokes off on Dennet St at intersection with 103. Consider repurposing pavement currently painted with yellow diverge/taper markings to create room for continuous shoulders through intersection and proceeding southbound.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide comments.
James Tassé
Assistant Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine