Last year was the deadliest year on record for Maine pedestrians
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the incoming Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that she secured a total of $863,382 for four projects intended to improve pedestrian safety across the state. Maine set a tragic record of 21 pedestrian deaths in 2022.
The funding was awarded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Senator Collins negotiated with 9 of her colleagues. The law established the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) discretionary program, which aims to achieve zero deaths and serious injuries on our nation’s roadways.
“Over the past several years, Maine has experienced record numbers of pedestrian deaths, which in many cases are the heartbreaking consequence of poor road designs,” said Senator Collins. “By eliminating hazardous conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike, we can help Mainers reach their homes and jobs safely and more quickly. As the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to strongly support these types of investments to improve Maine’s transportation network and help make travel safer for all road users.”
The following four organizations and municipalities were allocated funding to improve roadway safety:
- The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments received $200,000 for the Androscoggin Transportation Resource Center (ATRC) Corridor Improvement Study, which will focus on critical high-accident corridors like the Veterans Memorial Bridge corridor linking Auburn and Lewiston and the primary feeder arterials of Center Street in Auburn and Main Street in Lewiston. Between 2016 and 2020, there were 31 motor-vehicle fatalities in the ATRC region, and during the same period, ten percent of the 2,592 injury-involved crashes within the region occurred within the proposed project corridor.
- The Greater Portland Council of Governments received $263,382 to develop a comprehensive safety action plan.
- The Town of Bar Harbor received $200,000 to create a Comprehensive Transportation Action Plan to reduce regional roadway fatalities, vehicle accidents, and congestion, and to develop climate resilient infrastructure. This plan is especially important as Acadia National Park annually welcomes more than 3.5 million people. U.S. Route 1 and State Route 1—the gateway to Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, and Bar Harbor— suffer a high-rate of roadway fatalities, with Hancock County as a whole experiencing 49 fatal accidents from 2016 to 2020.
- The City of Sanford and Village of Springvale received $200,000 to develop a comprehensive safety action plan.