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Maine Police to Target Drivers Who Put Cyclists, Pedestrians At Risk

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts

WHO: Southern Maine Law Enforcement Agencies and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine
WHAT: 2018 Vulnerable User Enforcement Day targeting drivers who put others at risk
WHEN: Wednesday, June 13
WHERE: Various locations throughout southern Maine
WHY: 2017 was a deadly year for pedestrians in Maine. To help reduce the number of crashes that kill or injure pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable users of Maine roads, southern Maine law enforcement agencies will carry out a coordinated operation tomorrow targeting drivers and cyclists who put others at risk. The operation will specifically focus on motorists speeding, driving distracted, ignoring crosswalks or the “3 foot rule,” as well as vulnerable users riding the wrong way, ignoring stop signs and other traffic control devices, or jaywalking. Participating agencies include: Auburn, Falmouth, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland, and Westbrook Police Departments, as well as the Maine State Police.
Vulnerable User Enforcement Action Plan
Vulnerable User Enforcement Reference Guide
Results from 2017 Vulnerable User Enforcement Action

Friday, May 18, Is National Bike To Work Day

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Portland Gear Hub Will Be Out to Welcome Bicycle Commuters with Snacks, Coupons for Free Coffee, Mechanics Stands and Tools for Quick Adjustments, and More!
Bicycle commuters in Portland will find a warm welcome on National Bike To Work Day, which is Friday, May 18.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will be on hand in Monument Square from 7am-10:30am with information about how to be a safer bicycle commuter, membership information, a mechanics stand and tools for quick adjustments, coupons for coffee from Others! Coffee, and $5 tokens for city employees who ride their bicycles to work, courtesy of the City of Portland’s employee wellness program.
Staff and volunteers from the Portland Gear Hub will have a mechanics stand and tools, free air set up outside A&C Grocery on Munjoy Hill, where they’ll be cooking up some hot breakfast treats, too.

“Biking to work has a lot of positives,” Bicycle Coalition of Maine Executive Director John Williams said. “Of course, there’s the physical benefit, but riding your bike to work is great way to save some money because you don’t have to pay for parking and you aren’t using any gas. If your commute is only a few miles, you’ll probably find that it’s just as quick, if not faster, to ride your bike than it is to drive.”
National Bike To Work Day, always the third Friday in May, dates to 1956, when the League of American Bicyclists suggested it as an addition to National Bike Month, which is May.
You can find more information and tips about bicycle commuting here.

Here's How to Make Your Community Better for Biking and Walking

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill was famous for saying that all politics is local. The same can be said of meaningful change, particularly when it comes to making Maine better for biking and walking.
That’s why we created our Community Spokes program.

Community Spokes members get some real-world insight on how to make their communities better for biking and walking at a recent Bicycle Coalition of Maine-led Community Spokes training session.

The Community Spokes Program is the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s effort to create a statewide network of bicycle and pedestrian advocates at the local level. We empower community members to become champions of better biking and walking – in the communities where they live and work – through advocacy training, education, and on-going technical support.
The fact is, better biking and walking can bring economic, transportation, health and environmental benefits to individuals, communities, and the state as a whole.
People who sign on to the Community Spokes program lead the way in bringing those benefits to their communities, learning how to navigate the local bureaucracy to provide a voice for pedestrian and bicycle interests, and working with their neighbors and local policy makers to promote bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, policies, and programs.
But it’s not like they’re on their own. We provide ongoing assistance to Spokes – including an all-day training seminar, regional advocacy events and webinars throughout the year – as well as communications strategy and materials, an online Advocacy Toolkit, and other helpful resources.
The program has proven to be extraordinarily effective. Across the state, Community Spokes have notched wins that have directly translated into better biking and walking. As a result, the Community Spokes Program has received national recognition as an innovative and effective way to create change through local advocacy.
If you’d like to make a real difference for the better in your town by becoming a Community Spoke, our next training session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, at the Skowhegan Community Center in Skowhegan. You can sign up here.

Maine DOT Renews Bicycle Coalition of Maine Contract for Statewide Pedestrian Safety Forums, Education Efforts

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Assistant Director Jim Tassé makes a presentation on safety at a Heads Up Pedestrian Safety Forum in Rockland on Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo by Stephen Betts for Village Soup.)

The Maine Department of Transportation has renewed the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s contract to facilitate the Head’s Up Pedestrian Safety Planning effort.
Our role in this effort emerged out of, and continues to build on, the strong working relationship between the Coalition and the MaineDOT—which is key to getting on the ground improvements to walking and bicycling conditions.
The Heads Up! Pedestrian Safety Project, part of MDOT’s Strategic Plan to address the dramatic rise in pedestrian fatal outcomes, reaches people who live and work in 21 Maine communities with large populations and high numbers of pedestrian crashes. The project features public forums on how infrastructure changes and education can improve safety, as well as site visits to help the towns plan for possible roadway design changes.
We facilitated 15 of these meetings in 2017, in communities throughout Maine; six more are in development.
The next Heads Up Pedestrian Safety forum will be in Brunswick on April 18, from 6pm-8pm, and includes a Q&A session, a presentation from the Bicycle Coalition about pedestrian safety and risk, an open mic opportunity to share concerns and opinions, and workgroups to identify problem areas in Brunswick.
We’ll post the dates and locations for additional upcoming forums as soon as they’ve been finalized.
The Heads Up forums represent the first segment of a five-part project that, when finished, will yield a State Pedestrian Safety Plan that includes specific recommendations to the MaineDOT and the municipalities about how to improve pedestrian conditions.
The Coalition will also be a key partner in developing new educational resources for use across Maine, including presentations at schools and worksites, bike rodeos and rides, and riding and mechanical classes.
We’ll be doing this work – working to make Maine better for biking and walking – throughout 2018 and into 2019.
 

Everything You Need To Know About Bike Share In Maine

By | Advocacy Events, Featured Posts, Webinars
Bike Share programs are growing worldwide, nationwide, and are even in Maine!
Norway and Machias, Maine have modest bike share programs compared to big cities. For this reason, they are models for Maine to show that bike sharing is possible in small, rural towns.
Thanks to Zizi Vlaun of Norway and Angela Fochesato of Machias for sharing their stories of how they developed bike share programs in their communities.  If you missed the webinar and are interested in making your town greener and healthier by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging people to ride a bike, Zizi and Angela are happy to help!  For advice and information, they can be contacted at:
zizi@ecologybasedeconomy.org
angela@healthyacadia.org

 

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Members, Allies to Engage Legislators In Support of Traffic Safety Education Bill

By | Advocacy Events, Coalition News, Featured Posts, State House Watch

Proposed Legislation Would Help Reduce Pedestrian and Cyclist Traffic Deaths By Providing One Hour of Traffic Safety Education to Students Each Year
April 7, 2017 – (AUGUSTA, Maine) The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is organizing Traffic Safety Day in Augusta on Tuesday, April 11, to marshal support for proposed legislation that will help cut the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed each year on Maine roads.
“Too many pedestrians and bicyclists are losing their lives on our roads, and in each case these tragedies are almost entirely preventable,” Coalition Executive Director Nancy Grant said. “The Traffic Safety Education Act will help reduce the unacceptable number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in Maine.”
LD 1130, an Act To Provide Traffic Safety Education To Maine Students, is sponsored by Rep. Matthea Daughtry (D-Brunswick) and would ensure that all Maine children in grades two through 12 receive one hour of age-appropriate traffic safety education each year. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs on Tuesday, April 11, at 1 p.m. in Room 202 of the Cross Building in Augusta.
The Coalition’s Traffic Safety Day is intended to help Coalition members and allies learn how to most effectively communicate the facts about the bill and why it is needed to legislators. The day’s events include:

  • A meeting with the Legislature’s Bike/Ped Caucus at the Cross Café (111 Sewall St., Augusta) at 8 a.m. to discuss biking and walking issues.
  • A brief training session on how to effectively communicate with lawmakers, from 9:15-10:30 a.m.
  • Meetings with legislators from 10:45-11:45 a.m. in support of the Traffic Safety Education Act.
  • The legislative hearing at 1 p.m. in Room 202 of the Cross Building in Augusta.

In addition to communicating support for the bill, Grant said, it is also important to note what the legislation will not do: it will have no fiscal impact on Maine schools or extend the school year, nor will it add to the state’s graduation requirements or increase teachers’ workloads; teachers would have the option of using the Coalition’s curriculum – developed by teachers for teachers – or have one of Maine’s certified Traffic Safety Educators make the one-hour presentation to students.
“The Traffic Safety Education Act will help keep our children safe now, when they’re walking or biking to or from school, home or a friend’s house, and in the future,” Grant said. “Children who’ve grown up learning the rules of the road will be safer around pedestrians and cyclists when they get behind the wheel as adults.”