This project was completed in collaboration with the Lewiston-Auburn Complete Streets Committee and with guidance from George Peterson, an active member of the committee and a local project engineer. The focus of this project was to develop a state of the streets report to aid in the ongoing efforts of the Complete Streets Committee to improve street safety and transit experience in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. This report includes graphics displaying our findings along with recommendations for municipal scale interventions for the Complete Streets Committee to consider in their future projects.
Before beginning our research, we paused to acknowledge the privilege we have to be able to navigate the Lewiston-Auburn community as Bates College students. We discussed the implicit biases we have in our perception of street safety in Lewiston-Auburn due to this privilege. With this guiding our work, we aimed to work towards a comprehensive understanding of the street user experiences of other communities in Lewiston-Auburn.
High rates of car crashes and a loss of community in car-oriented cities stem from the strong hold that the automobility paradigm has over urban form and street design. In cities across the globe, the safety of street users other than automobiles is often overlooked and results in nearly 1.3 million deaths in car crashes annually (Scheller 2018). To inform the goals of the Lewiston-Auburn Complete Streets Committee to implement effective street redesigns, our project aimed to answer questions about trends in street safety and usage in Lewiston-Auburn as compared to state and national statistics.
Through our project, we compared trends in total crashes, vehicle miles traveled, and mode share across local, state, and national scales to situate Lewiston-Auburn within a broader context of street usage and safety. Further, we identified eight intersections with the highest crash rates in Lewiston-Auburn. In conjunction with our data analysis, we found that road curvature, gas prices, and automobile-centered planning contributed to the analytical results of our project. Seeing as these factors fell into the broader category of traffic speed, we developed recommendations to address traffic speed. Building off of these recommendations, we also devised recommendations to address traffic volume that provide a framework for long-term transformation. The figures, analyses, causal factors, and recommendations of our report create a holistic view of Lewiston-Auburn streets and suggest next steps for the Lewiston-Auburn Complete Streets Committee to create more safe and accessible streets in this community.
Crawford, Rosie; Wan, Oliver; and Dubinsky, Liza, "Assessing the Safety and Usage of Lewiston-Auburn Streets" (2021). Community Engaged Research Reports. 79.