Portland cyclists work to keep roads safer year-round
More than a dozen cyclists took part in an audit of the city’s bike lanes on Sunday as part of the Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Committee
PORTLAND, Maine — Despite the brutal cold in Portland the past few days, some of the city’s most loyal cyclists are still out.
“Cycling is something I love to do, regardless of the weather,” Portland resident Nadia Peppler said.
Peppler was joined by more than a dozen others across Portland on Sunday. This ride, however, was more than just personal pleasure or transportation.
“It’s never too cold, you just don’t have enough layers [on]”said John Clark.
Clark is the chair of the Portland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. This group works closely with the City Council’s Sustainability and Transport Committee on cycling and walking issues, and provides input on initiatives that impact walkers and cyclists in the city.
On Sunday, the group rode in temperatures ranging from low to mid-teens, auditing the city’s bike paths.
“We see what we think is a priority and what would do the most good with the least amount of resources,” Clark said.
The group route through high traffic areas under the audit, including the new roundabout near the University of Southern Maine campus, Woodfords Corner, Forest Ave and Washington Ave.
“We definitely think making sure cars, cyclists and pedestrians can better co-exist is a priority,” Clark said.
Clark and other drivers note that one of the biggest concerns drivers have is other vehicles on the road.
“Cars are going very fast, they may not notice the cyclists there. There may or may not be a cycle lane, but sometimes the paint just isn’t enough,” said Emma Scudder, Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee member and organizer from Portland. Cycling bike party.
According to Maine Department of Transportation data, in 2021, there are 168 accidents involving bicycles.
“As cyclists, we have an equal share of the road. People just have to take it easy, and not drive so crazy and drive so fast,” Peppler said.
As part of the audit, groups took note of cycle path conditions and ways to improve them. Those who participated in the hike will share their feedback with City of Portland staff and city councilors.
“We really think the main thoroughfares are a problem. Washington Ave, Forest Ave, a bit of Brighton Ave,” Clark said. “We looked at different things like traffic calming and widening lanes. The City is looking at different types of bollards to protect people from cars.”
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee on Zoom on the second Monday of each month is open to all interested Portland residents. You can learn more and stay up to date with meeting information by visiting the committee’s website. Facebook page.