Maine ranks as second most bike-friendly state

Posted May 24, 2011, at 9:48 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C. has named Maine as the second most bike-friendly state in the country.  The latest state rankings, released on Monday, show Maine moving up from third place, a position it held for the previous two years.

“This ranking reflects our success in making Maine a better place to bicycle,” said Nancy Grant, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.  “Maine reaps economic benefits from bicycle tourism, and our state also benefits from encouraging healthy habits, saving money on gas and reducing air pollution.”

State rankings are based on detailed questionnaires filled out by each state’s bike coordinator.  For the first time, the League also graded states based on their success in six areas.  Here are Maine’s grades:

·     “A” for legislation and education and encouragement.

·     “B” for infrastructure and evaluation and planning.

·     “C” for policies and programs.

·     “F” for enforcement.

The state’s overall grade was “B.”

“The League’s grades underscore the need for better enforcement of Maine’s existing laws, such as the requirement that children under 16 wear bicycle helmets and that motorists give at least three feet of clearance when passing cyclists,” said Grant.   “We would welcome the opportunity to work more closely with state and local law enforcement officers to ensure that Maine bicycling laws are enforced.”

The League has conducted annual state rankings since 2008, with all questions and methodology remaining consistent to track states’ progress.  Washington tops this year’s state rankings.  More information about the 2011 rankings can be found here.

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