By Yokota Fritz
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is in the process of redesigning their state bike map, holding meetings across the state to discuss and show their plans and taking input from participants on what the map should feature.
Currently, New Hampshire has several region maps showing state and regional bicycle routes. The new map, designed to encourage bicycling touring and bicycling as a mode of transportation, shows trails, terrain, bus stops and train stations. The Bicycle and Pedestrian section is seeking information from cyclists on the best routes, loops, and landmarks to show.
The NH DOT's ultimate goal is to make bicycle use more common on New Hampshire roadways, giving riders a sense of safety and motorists a sense of respect for bicyclists which are legally allowed on every road except interstates.
The goal is an uphill battle, as many road agents and law enforcement officials have a "perception of what is safe and what is not safe," according to Tom Jameson of the New Hampshire DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Section
Jameson said many law enforcement officials will encourage bicyclists to ride on sidewalks and away from the road, while state law defines bikes as a vehicle. "It's a political fight to say, 'We want the focus to be on bikes not cars.'"