Transportation networks are also important to the economic growth of the community in providing needed access to goods and services not found in the town. Roads into and out of the town are the main mode of transportation in nearly all rural areas, and the condition of these roads is very important. Lately, the state government has realized the great expense needed to improve our interstate highways. If the condition of any state highway or bridge is not adequate, then it is up to the community to make its needs known to the state highway department and state representatives.  

A safe, efficient transportation system is essential to the smooth functioning of the region. For example, the location and quality of the local street system will have a major impact on where future growth is likely to occur. Transportation links to the outside world greatly influence the potential for economic growth; in as much as, the costs of transportation are important factors for new businesses in searching for a location. 

The Regional Transportation Program is a transportation planning program sponsored by Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC) that provides transportation-related technical support and planning assistance to northern Maine’s municipalities. The Regional Transportation Program staff work closely with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) to help identify regional transportation issues and opportunities. 

Transportation Partners


Jay Kamm, Senior Planner
PO Box 779
Caribou, ME 04736
(207) 493-5757
(207) 551-5807 (cell)

Scenic Byways

Scenic byways are public roads that have been recognized as having outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and/or archaeological qualities. Scenic byways may be designated by the state in which they are located or by the National Scenic Byways Program of the Federal Highway Administration.

There are several scenic byways located in NMDC’s service area, including:

  • Million Dollar View Scenic Byway (Route 1 in Weston)
  • The Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway (south entrance of Baxter State Park through Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Stacyville, and Patten to the north entrance of Baxter State Park)
  • Fish River Scenic Byway (Route 11 from Portage Lake to Fort Kent)
  • St. John Valley Cultural Byway (Routes 1, 1-A, and 161 from Hamlin to Allagash)

Management Plans:

Bicycle Planning

NMDC is able to assist communities with bicycle and pedestrian planning. 

Examples include the Fort Kent Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and the Van Buren Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

Proposed Federally Designated Bicycle Route

NMDC, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation, is working towards establishing a permanent federally designated bike route in northern Penobscot and Aroostook Counties.

The bike route designation would complement and connect to the existing US Bike Route 1 located in southern and Downeast Maine.

The proposed route would be located on existing state and local roads and/or existing bike and pedestrian trails in the region.

It should be noted that there is no cost to the community for designation nor are there any additional maintenance requirements for the route.

The proposed US bike route will connect to the existing US Bike Route in Bangor and terminate at the Dickey Bridge in Allagash. The proposed route is approximately 344 miles.

Once designated, the Northern Maine US Bike Route will be part of the United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which is the national cycling route network of the United States. It will be part of the interstate long-distance cycling routes and will utilize multiple types of bicycling infrastructure, including existing off-road trails, bicycle lanes, and low-traffic roads.

Bike Route Maps:

Biking Resources:

Transportation Data

NMDC often receives inquiries for transportation related information and data. Below are links to commonly requested data:

NMDC High Crash Location Reports

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (USDOT)