The Maine Department of Transportation reports online annual statistics on motor vehicle crashes with bicycles, including those resulting in fatalities, serious injuries or no apparent injuries.

The five-year average cyclist crashes resulting in serious injuries was 150.6 cyclists between 2019 and at the time of this letter. Additionally, an average of 1.6 fatalities resulted in cycling accidents with motor vehicles in that same timeframe.

The statistics are alarming, resulting in many cycling enthusiasts pursuing other hobbies to road cycling. A great alternative is trail riding.

The Casco Bay Trail Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to plan and support a 72-mile off-road trail loop between Portland, Lewiston-Auburn and Brunswick, including the 26 miles of dormant Berlin Subdivision/Lawrence and Atlantic rail corridor connecting Portland to Auburn. This multipurpose trail would support recreation for hikers and bikers alike. The Maine Department of Transportation has recommended postponing a decision on this proposal until 2025.

In the meantime, I welcome those who are seeking a safer area for recreation to write to their state representatives, as they will be tasked to vote on legislation pertaining to this development. Information about this effort can be found in great detail at

Jenny Johnson, Auburn

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