Maine Safe Routes to School Newsletter | March 2017 Newsletter
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Celebrate Biking and Walking at
Your School this Spring!

Request Biking and Walking Safety Presentations
The Safe Routes to School (grades K­-8) and Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Education (grade 9+) Programs provide bicycle and pedestrian education to over ten thousand kids and adults annually. Our certified instructors teach people the basics of safe walking and bicycling in schools, at community events, and other venues. We offer our services at NO COST and are excited to have the opportunity to visit and teach at your school! To make a request please visit the online request form at To learn more about our education program, join a webinar on  Teaching Biking and Walking.

Organize Fun Biking and Walking Events
Events are fun and build great local enthusiasm ­ and spring can be an especially good time to organize activities  as the weather improves. Need some inspiration? Check out our  blog a to see great examples  from Maine schools promoting biking and walking. We would  love to provide you with materials to help promote your events!  Click here to request materials and register your biking and walking events .

National Bike to School Day, May 10, 2017
Help local students experience the fun of biking to school ­- part
of the 2017 National Bike Month and a great addition for
Maine's Walk and Bike to School Month! Register here.
Do You Dutch Reach?
The phenomenon of bikers getting hit by an opening car door is so common it has its own term: dooring. According to a study in Chicago, as many as 1 in 5 bicycle accidents involve car doors; in total, there is an average of nearly one dooring per day in the Windy City. Even when bikers swerve to avoid doors, they can end up getting hit by cars. Separating bike lanes can work but it also takes time and money. In the meantime, there may be another path toward curbing this danger.
The "Dutch Reach"
After parking, reach for your car door's handle with your right arm instead of your left one, even though the latter is closer to the door. This method forces you to pivot your body so you can look over your shoulder, allowing you to notice incoming bikers on the street.
How many accidents would this prevent if it were widely adopted?
We're here to help you strategize, answer questions, and support your community as you make plans for walk and bike activities this school year!
The Maine Safe Routes to School Team

In This Edition

For More Information

Darcy Whittemore
Education Program Manager
Tel: 207-956-6537

Erik daSilva
Education Program Coordinator 
Tel: 207-956-6539

Shannon Belt
Education & Outreach Coordinator (Greater Portland)
Tel: 207-956-6528
Patrick Adams
MaineDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager
Tel: 207-624-3311

Resources, Funding, & Timely Opportunities 
The RTP provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized uses. Now accepting applications.

Introduce students to cycling's positive effects on academic performance, health, and wellbeing.  Application period closes March 24.

Bicycle Friendly Businesses
Do you own or know of a business that should join the 1,265 BFBs currently recognized?  
The next deadline for BFB applications and renewals is March 30.

Upcoming Webinars
Tues Mar 21, 3:30-5pm
Learn the basics for teaching students how to walk safely & drive their bicycles safely. Contact with questions.

Westbrook - This is a free workshop and a great opportunity to learn about more resources and tools that can help your community be more walking and biking friendly.
Explore creative and effective innovations happening in the realm of young people and bicycling. Topics will include engaging, equity-focused local programs as well as statewide bicycle education efforts.

Learn what BCM's education program provides to both adults and kids, and how this helps to strengthen our bicycle community - on and off road!

What We're Reading
This is an excellent recording with great information about both the equity issues that exist in bike/ped infrastructure, planning, and programs, and how to become more inclusive. We highly recommend a watch!