Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Deadline tommorrow to submit comments on Scudder Falls Bridge

Comments to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission on this issue are due tomorrow, February 4th. Send the Commission an email letter stating your support for a bicycle/pedestrian pathway being included in the final design of the Bridge.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an indepth story and editorial today about the I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge and how a bicycle/pedestrian walkway that is being considered by the Bridge Commission may not get included because it is "prohibitively expensive." The Commission is rationalizing that 9 motor vehicle lanes (up from the current 4), 2 lanes for buses and 2 12-wide shoulders are necessary and a given that they will be built, but a bicycle/pedestrian path "is a cost issue" and may not be get included in the final design.

Obviously,we at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia don't agree and are pleased that the Inquirer Editorial Board is with us! The cost of a bicycle/pedestrian pathway is well below the threshold of what the feds consider "unreasonable", and there are other important positive benefits to having providing bicycle/pedestrian access that outweigh costs. Accommodating all users in transportation projects is federal and state policy, and one that this Commission should adhere to. The Commission should be designing a bridge with a 50-75 year life span for a future of more bicycling and walking and not pretend that it doesn't have a role to play in making the region more sustainable.  As the Inquirer said today, "it would be an absurd planning decision to build a new bridge that made no room for cyclists and hikers to cross between two historic canal trails."

BCGP Final Comments (pdf)