mike
user 3053132
Portland, ME
Post #: 472
Once again, Maine ranks third in the nation for bicycle-friendly states, as rated by the League of American Bicyclists:

1. Washington - Silver*
2. Wisconsin - Silver*
3. Maine
4. Minnesota - Bronze*
5. Oregon - Silver*

Full list:
http://www.bikeleague...­

Interactive map:
http://www.bikeleague...­
john b.
AsshatOrganizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 31
You wouldn't be able to tell by looking around. Comparatively, not a whole lot of folks on bikes from this vantage point. In Portland, Oregon I would see 5 bikes pull up to a stoplight for every 2 cars; THAT is a bike-centric town. We would like to be touted as such, I think. Sadly, though, not enough folks have realized that they are not made of sugar and won't melt when riding bikes in the weather they should have long ago come to expect in New England. Seriously, some people don't even have rain pants or even proper winter attire around here. Adapt, folks. Otherwise we'll just be another candy ass east coast burg with a passing cycling fetish. Do I care what the League of American Bicyclists (whoever they are - I'm an American cyclist, why am I not in said league) have to say? Nope. Do we need more bike infrastructure (most recently of note; more and more bike hitching posts sunk into the brick and concrete of our downtown sidewalks)? Oh yeah. But, more importantly, we need more cyclists out there riding EVERY DAY in place of a motor vehicle. None of this hobbyist b.s. Sure, it's good that they are actually on a bike at all but we need more real commuters and car-free citizens out there representing. Otherwise we'll just keep hearing the complaints of fellow "citizens" in the vein of their "tax dollars being spent on bike lanes nobody uses." How much does that reflective paint cost anyway? Seems like they should be mad at the city for charging so much to paint it - if indeed it was as dubious an investment as those opposed seem to claim. Hell, I'll paint em for free, I'll even buy the paint if it will shut you up.
A former member
Post #: 635
$11,000 per mile to paint bike lanes according to the engineer I spoke with. That is for a bike lane on both sides of a road.
mike
user 3053132
Portland, ME
Post #: 473
I agree it is odd to see Maine above Oregon but part of it has to due with comparing the entire state. I assume not every town in Oregon is like Portland :) I'm not sure of the exact formula, but they look at things like laws, state funding/spending, using federal funds and other state-wide measures. Only one city in Maine earns one of their city ratings - Brunswick - and it is a "bronze" rating at that. The city of Portland is pushing to get a bike-friendly rating itself, thus we see things like the big Bike to Work Day push/celebration, more focus on "bike infrastructure" etc.

I agree the more people on bikes the better, but there has been a steady increase over the past few years. As for seasonal / rainy weather biking, even Portland, OR sees significant ridership drop during their rainiest season. I don't think many people jump from not riding to committing to riding everyday in all kinds of weather. When I started (in Maine) I started in nice weather and had no rain gear. If the forecast was for bad weather, I'd just take the bus or get a ride. I kept a spare set of clothes at work in case I got caught in the rain. I didn't really think about riding that winter and I stopped in early December (but also I got terribly sick, so not sure if I would have pushed on). The next year I added some rain gear and rode in more types of weather. That year I rode through the winter, but still took the bus if the roads were in lousy shape. Then the next year I got better rain gear and that winter I got studded tires and I have not ridden the bus to work in two years now.

So it is a gradual process for most people and I welcome fair-weather riders even if I know I won't see most of them come December.
john b.
AsshatOrganizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 32
I've been all over Oregon and Maine is no Oregon. Aside from Portland, cities like Eugene, Bend, Ashland, Medford, Beaverton - those are some cities that dwarf our ridership. Also, I don't know who is counting heads during the "drop-off in ridership during their rainiest season" (which has been VERY unpredictable, weather-wise, for years, btw) but they need to check again. Where do these statistics come from? The mantra in Oregon is "nobody complains about the weather and everything will be fine." Most Mainers will waste their dying breath to say, "shiiiit, could it be any more sunny?!" We love to bitch about the weather and make excuses to not ride out here. Folks back there just ride. I just ride and I see next to nobody doing the same.
john b.
AsshatOrganizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 33
$11k for a four one mile stripes of reflective paint?! I'd be pissed too. Not because we're appropriating funds toward infrastructure that cyclists "don't use" or motorists "don't respect" but because that is an egregious waste of money. There is no way $11k for four one mile strips of paint is justified. How much do "normal" traffic strips cost to paint? This must be the tip of the iceberg for overpaid public works.
Kenneth O.
kob22225
Portland, ME
Post #: 375
$11k for a four one mile stripes of reflective paint?!

The main things wrong with bikelane paint are 1) bikelanes are bad design; 2) bikelanes are even worse education.... not its cost.
A former member
Post #: 54
1 special use truck that probably cost over $100K gets about 6 miles to the gallon and requires 2 union workers to operate, getting paid OT because it is being done at night. There is probably a pick up truck in front and behind the paint truck, each with a union worker on OT, adds up fast.
John B.
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,427
I don't know the numbers, but I'll bet $11K/mile is peanuts compared to the per mile cost of constructing or widening a road. And it's probably less if they (re)stripe the bike lane at the same time they're restriping the other lines, when they've already got the paint crew out there. Not defending, just putting it in perspective.

As to the rating, I really don't have much idea why we got such a high mark. In addition to the other things Mike mentioned, there's also the strength of the local advocacy groups, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is pretty well-respected nationally. So maybe that's part of it too, or at least we'd like to think so. smile

So it's time for a plug: If you're not a BCM member yet, join today!
A former member
Post #: 639
I joined the BCM earlier this year, mostly because of John being a board member. It is inexpensive and a tax deduction, and advocates for biking in Maine.

Interesting that "they" striped the (door zone) $11,000 per mile paint is all but gone. I hope "they" don't re-stripe it.
Powered by mvnForum

Our Sponsors

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy