June 24, 2018
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Public comment sought on bike-walk path plan

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — If a Brewer resident wanted to get to the Penobscot Theatre in downtown Bangor, but wanted to walk or ride a bike instead of drive, what route would he take?

That and similar questions are what creators of the Bangor Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan are trying to answer as they update the long-range plan.

A forum, the third and last, is scheduled tonight at Brewer City Hall to show those proposed updates to the public and to hear comments before the plan is made final, Rob Kenerson, director of the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System, or BACTS, said Monday.

Doors to the public forum will open at 6:45 p.m., and a presentation of the plans with discussion is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Every five years, BACTS updates its bicyclist and pedestrian transportation plan for routes that connect neighboring communities in Greater Bangor.

“We have a long-range plan, a 20-year plan, for the 10 communities” of BACTS, Kenerson said. “We look at what we have existing, what deficiencies we have, and basically say in 20 years what do we want to have.”

The plan also identifies priorities, which typically receive federal and state funding first, he said.

BACTS does transportation planning in Greater Bangor, which includes Bangor, Brewer, Veazie and portions of Hampden, Orono, Old Town, Milford, Bradley, Eddington, Orrington and the Penobscot Indian Nation.

The Bangor Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan is a regional effort to better connect area communities, Brewer City Planner Linda Johns said last week.

“They’re looking at both existing bike and pedestrian paths, links in the process and future links,” she said. “It’s definitely regional.”

In addition to updating the map of actual physical routes for the region, which was created in 1996, the new draft plan also include new routes, and the area’s off-road bicycle paths that have never been listed, consultant Jim Donovan of Broadreach Planning & Design of Charlotte, Vt., said Wednesday.

“Secondly, there is going to be a lot more recommendations for things to be done to create a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly environment,” he said.

The plan will make suggestions to the individual communities, the state and federal government, and even BACTS, to work together to create more transportation pathways, add more signage and safety measures, “all in an effort to encourage more bike and pedestrian activities in the communities,” Donovan said.

While routes in the Bangor Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan are used for recreation, the goal is to create transportation routes for people to use instead of motorized vehicles, he said.



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