The Bike Coalition of Maine will continue to stress the importance of pedestrian safety during two forums in central Maine this month.

The forum in Augusta begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers at City Center and there will be a Hallowell forum at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 in the City Hall Auditorium.

At the forums, coalition members will be joined by Augusta and Hallowell officials and the Maine Department of Transportation to address the recent spike in pedestrian/vehicle crashes. Previous forums this year have been held in Brewer, Orono, Winslow, Sanford, Topsham, Bangor, Saco, Auburn, Lewiston, Bath and Westbrook.

“Safety really is a two-way street and we want to hear your ideas about dangerous locations and the dangerous habits of pedestrians and motorists,” reads a poster advertising the events.

The coalition’s website states Maine has seen an alarming spike in pedestrian traffic fatalities, and these forums hope to help reduce the number of pedestrian deaths on Maine streets.

People are encouraged to talk about dangerous locations and the dangerous habits of pedestrians and motorists, including being distracted by talking or texting on a cellphone.

“Participants will help MDOT identify locations and behaviors in their community that impact pedestrian safety, and receive some tips on safe road behavior as well as reflective safety gear,” the website states.

According to Maine statute, a pedestrian is defined as a person on foot or an operator of a wheelchair or 4-wheeled or 3-wheeled motorized wheelchair. In Maine, a reportable crash involves a moving vehicle hitting someone or something while causing personal injury or death or $1,000 or more in property damage. There are many more incidents that occur but do not meet this definition, the coalition said.

In the presentation earlier this week in Brewer, the coalition said one out of every 24 pedestrian crashes in Maine are fatal, while one out of every 485 intersection crashes results in a death; one out of 1,425 rear-end crashes are fatal.

MaineDOT statistics show that people between 30 and 49-years-old are most often involved in pedestrian crashes, and adults are the most represented group in crash data. A marked crosswalk with a walk signal is the safest place to cross a street, even against the signal. Marked crosswalks without signals, the presentation said, are only somewhat safer than locations with no crosswalks at all.

The transportation department said failure to yield is the most common cause of pedestrian crashes by a large margin — aggressive driving is a distant second.

The forums are scheduled for two hours. Following the meetings, the next steps include a site visit and pedestrian safety review of up to five locations and the development of a mitigation plan to include infrastructure and educational interventions.

For more information about the forums, visit

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