Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Two Faces of Montgomery County

An article in the Bucks County Courier Times states that a Municipal Transportation Task Force of the Suburban Horsham Willow Grove Chamber of Commerce is looking at ways to fund road projects outside of the PENNDOT/Federal Funding process. Since locally or privately funded roads are clear of federal guidelines bicyclists and pedestrians could easily be left out of the decision making process.

Generally this blog praises Montgomery County. Clearly their trails and open space policies are a national model. And in fact they opened more trails last year.

But when you take your bicycle on the road in Montgomery County it is a different story. Montgomery County has the most aggressive roadbuilding policy in the region and conditions for cyclists continue to worsen. The Lafayette Street project which may revitalize downtown Norristown could just as easily choke it in through traffic. Tthe county has also commissioned a study to widen the Schuykill Expressway in the rugged and narrow Schuylkill Valley in the vicinity of Gulph Mills and a 4 lane 202 Parkway. Cyclists have had negative comments about Horsham Road widening to 4 lanes late last year.

The county has an on road bicycle plan, yet after nearly 8 years after adoption next to nothing has been done and the plans simply lay on the shelf.