Coalition of cyclists installs temporary road markers to slow traffic in Mount Vernon

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Volunteers from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the City of Mount Vernon set up four delimiters on the Belgrade road on July 29. The project was part of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Imagine People Here program. Photo courtesy of Bicycle Coalition of Maine

MONT VERNON – Traffic markers were temporarily installed on three roads in Mount Vernon last Thursday in an attempt to slow traffic in the center of town. The installation is the result of a collaboration between the City’s Age-Friendly Committee and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s “Imagine the People Here” program.

Matt Sulem, communications manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said a total of 10 delineators have been installed on three arrival lanes in town. Two were placed on Main Street, four on Belgrade Road and four on North Road.

“The Sandy Wright Senior Friendly Committee of Mount Vernon was the champion of this project and deserves the greatest credit for making this project happen,” said Sulem. “She initiated the awareness, moved the planning process forward and even helped with the actual installation. “

Wright first contacted MaineDOT, who then contacted BikeMaine. BikeMaine and MaineDOT both visited the site, after which a plan was made and the delineators were installed on July 29.

“We are trying to involve the cities in this,” he said. “Someone is from town and we are working with MaineDOT and the locals to assess the best treatment for this situation, along with all the timeline and actual infrastructure associated with it.”

In total, Sulem said it cost only around $ 600 to install the delimiters, which are poles that run along a road and guide traffic in slower areas. Thursday’s crew consisted of two BikeMaine members and two local volunteers.

Sulem said on Tuesday he had heard no feedback from the city, but that he and other volunteers immediately saw the results after the delimiters were installed.

“They give people the impression that the road is narrower, but we are not reducing the size of the road at all,” he said, adding that cyclists can still ride safely on the roads.

The “Imagine the People Here” program focuses on installing temporary projects to improve safety and access for pedestrians and cyclists in Maine. This is the state’s fourth project under the program this year, following installations on Diamond Street in Portland on May 20, in downtown Augusta on July 13, and at Woodfords Corner in Portland on July 16. .

In Augusta, members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and local volunteers installed three-foot-high poles at both ends of most Water Street crosswalks. They also marked parts of the crosswalks on both sides of the road with red paint. The posts and paint will mark out spaces, called bumps, on both sides of the road.

Volunteers from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the City of Mount Vernon set up four delimiters on the Belgrade road on July 29. The project was part of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Imagine People Here program. Photo courtesy of Bicycle Coalition of Maine

Since its inception in 2015, the success stories of the program include three crosswalk improvements installed in Bangor that have reduced average travel speeds by 11% and 85th percentile speeds, or the speed at which or in below 85% of motorists are traveling on a road that is not affected by inclement weather or slow traffic, by 9%.

In North Yarmouth, two walkway treatments, three crosswalk improvements and 2.25 miles of shared lane markings were added, reducing average travel speeds by 12% and 85th percentile speeds by 13% .

Going forward, the Bicycle Coaltion of Maine is planning facilities in Brooklin, Islesboro, Millinocket, Saco and South Portland. His most recent project was on Main Street in Ogunquit on August 5.

Sulem said the volume of the project increased last year during the pandemic, as it allowed them to be socially safe outside.

“It’s a bit safer and we really enjoyed doing it,” he said, “because it’s real, tangible work. It’s a local person who comes to us with a problem, and then we can make this road safer in a simple, quick, and inexpensive way.

Sulem said all installations are temporary because they want to make sure the changes produce positive results.

“If something doesn’t work, we are very happy to change it,” he said. “We want to make sure we get feedback from pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to see if it works for everyone. And if so, we encourage cities to make these facilities sustainable. “

Mount Vernon delineators, Sulem said, should be in place until winter arrives.

“It usually ends around mid-November,” he said, “but you know Maine, we could have a snowstorm in late September. But usually they last until November.


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