Speeding on Maine’s roadways endangers everyone, especially pedestrians and people on bicycles. Studies show that even small increases in speed increase the lethality of a crash with a vulnerable user—a person using a public way who is more vulnerable to injury than a person in a motor vehicle. Speed affects everything from how fast a car can stop to how quickly a moment of distraction becomes a disaster.
All too often, roadways in residential areas and city centers have speed limits and designs that enable vehicular speeding, putting other more vulnerable users at unnecessary risk. The dangers associated with traveling on roads with little to no bicycle or pedestrian infrastructure put all users at risk, discourage non-motorized forms of travel, further marginalize those without access to other forms of equitable mobility, and contribute to an epidemic of road injuries and fatalities.
Slower is always safer, yet driving 5-10 mph (or more!) over the posted speed limit in Maine is common, even in communities and city centers where vulnerable users are more likely present. It is time to slow Maine down.
In response to the concerns we most frequently hear from our members and at public forums, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has launched a statewide campaign to slow down motor vehicles and make our streets safer. Our goal is to make Maine’s roadways safer for all users by creating a new social norm that makes it acceptable to drive at or below the speed limit. Our aim is to emphasize the importance of Complete Streets policies and encourage the implementation of road design that will improve safety for all users. To ensure that all people feel welcome on Maine’s roadways, equity will be part of all discussions regarding access to diverse transportation options and improvements to multi-modal connectivity.
We are inviting all roadway users who share our concern about speeding to sign a letter of support for change.