To the editor,

The Saco Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets monthly. For the duration of the pandemic, Saco City Hall remains closed, so meetings will be via the Zoom app. The next meeting is scheduled for May 6 at 7 p.m. Information on joining the May 6 Zoom meeting is available by sending a message to [email protected]; we’ll get back to you shortly.

The group’s purpose is “… to support and encourage a bicycle and walking friendly community, which provides for safe, convenient, and enjoyable active transportation for all ages and abilities.”

It will do so with the assistance of City Council liaison Lynn Copeland, and staff liaison Deputy Chief Corey Huntress.

An early goal for the group will be identifying locations throughout Saco where signs could be installed to alert motorists that people on foot and on bicycles are liable to be sharing the road. City officials and committee members have met with the Maine Department of Transportation, which will provide bicycle and pedestrian signage free of charge to communities that demonstrate the need.

According to MDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Patrick Adams, Saco is one of 21 communities in the state with above average traffic incidents involving speed and alcohol. In fact, said Adams, Saco tops that list of 21 towns and cities.

From 2018 to the present, there were 16 bicycle-vehicle incidents in Saco. A dozen of these occurred on streets with a posted speed limit of 25 or 30 mph, so high speeds are not necessarily a factor in creating unsafe conditions for cyclists.

Over the same period of time, eight pedestrian-vehicle incidents occurred. All eight accidents involved drivers 25 years of age and older, and, once again, all took place where posted speed limits were 25 or 30 mph.

Saco can do better! Join us to discuss how to make Saco a walking and biking friendlier community.

Sincerely,

Saco Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

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