Thursday, April 15, 2004

Uh maybe not

I was informed that the two projects listed below were designed before the checklist was implemented. What we need to do is find out if the checklist is being used on projects currently in design.

That sounds easy. Right?

First find the list of projects in design. You might try the DVRPC TIP or the PennDOT 12 year project list.

Pages 14 thru 36 of the 179 page project list documents 800+ projects that cover the region.

Then find out who the project manager: you take the MPMS number (which is the unique identifier) from one of the above documents and contact PennDOT 6-0 offices to find this information out.

Hopefully the district office will connect you or give the name of the manager. Now you have to know which questions to ask. I would try these:
1 - What is the phase of this project?
Note: Construction is too late, if its in final design ask if you can get copies of the plans. (This is public information)
2 - Has Appendix J of Design Manual 1A been applied through each phase of this project? (Appendix J is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Checklist)
If they answer yes thank them and encourage them to continue to use the checklist. If no ask why not.

In an ideal world one would be able to access an searchable online database of every project in the 12 year program. All contact information, published documents including maps, design plans and Environmental Impact Statements would be available online.

PennDOT has of course already done this with informational websites of major projects such as:
US 30, PA 41, Route 309, US 202 and Woodhaven Road.

However for bicyclists and pedestrians every project has an impact. Furthermore some of PennDOT project websites lack crucial background information such as environmental impact statements and other details of the process.

This would be a great service for PennDOT. If the public is truly engaged and informed throughout the process then their concerns can be addressed many public meeting shouting matches can be avoided..