Monday, January 19, 2009

Bicycle Projects at the Bottom of PennDOT Wish List

Many thanks to Representative Babette Josephs who sent a letter to PennDOT Secretary Biehler asking him to release the list to the public. On January 16th, PennDOT issued its "Candidate Highway and Bridge Project for Expanded Federal Funding through Stimulus Legislation" list. Unfortunately, PennDOT does not make bicycle or pedestrian projects a priority. Its vision is limited to resurfacing roads and repairing bridges.

Out of 200+ projects, PennDOT recommends only one (1) bicycle project--the Chester Valley Trail for $18 million. Out of a set of projects that adds up to $1.5 Billion, PennDOT is proposing to spend 1.2% on enhancing one path for bicycling.

Only three Philadelphia projects are proposed: Platt Bridge ($18 M), ADA Ramps ($12M), Girard Point Bridge ($66M) totalling $96M; which is 6.4% of PennDOT's proposed projects. How is it that the state's largest city only warrants 6.4% of the state's spending on infrastructure? This proposal lacks creativity and vision of a green transportation infrastructure.

How will Pennsylvania ever reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles if it only rebuilds roads and doesn't build and extend new bike paths? How will Pennsylvania encourage more people to bike or walk to work or for short trips? It is deplorable that Pennsylvania is not taking advantage of this great opportunity.


Anonymous said...

The Chester Valley trail is probably a really great project, but would it really divert people from car trips -- or generate car trips to the trailhead?

What shovel-ready projects have a realistic chance of actually diverting people from car trips? I'd like to see a list.

Anonymous said...

If the bridge and highway funds go to making smooth and continuous shoulders, then that would be a big bicycle improvement, even if not specifically so labeled. All major arterial and collector roadways should be so constructed or repaired in line with "Complete Streets" philosophy, and this will help replace car trips with bike trips.