Earlier this week, Governor Corbett laid out in his budget address a proposal for raising $1.8 billion to close the current transportation budget gap. This is a critical year for Pennsylvania to take the opportunity to find new funding to help repair our state’s bridges and roads and make them safer for biking and walking.
On February11th, an important transportation summit will be held in Harrisburg. Legislators have been invited to hear more about how Pennsylvania could raise revenue to close the large gap in funding of transportation. From trails to railroads, mass transit to motorists, the summit will address how a broad-based approach to transportation can benefit all Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes, is asking you to encourage your state representative and senator to attend the summit to hear how biking and walking facilities are critical components of the Commonwealth’s transportation network.
Hearing from you will make a huge difference. Please send your elected officials a quick email today!
Are you interested in asking your congressional representative in Washington DC to support bicycle programs? Consider taking the day off to join fellow cyclists from the Pennsylvania as we attend the National Bike Summit’s Lobby Day on Wednesday, March 6th.
We invite you to travel down to DC and join us in pounding the pavement on Capitol Hill to visit the offices of our congressional representatives and Senators. You don’t have to attend the National Bike Summit to participate in this Lobby Day, but we do ask that you let us know if you want to come down on Wednesday. Please send an e-mail to pawalkbike (at) gmail.com with your name, home address, and contact information. We will send you the schedule and where to find us. We cannot provide you with transportation, but we can let you know who else is travelling so you can find someone to carpool with.
This is a fun experience and a great way to get involved in lobbying for a cause that matters to you! We will be asking our congressional delegation to support biking and walking programs, funding, and trail projects. Last year, we met personally with Congressman Brady, Congressman Pat Meehan and Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick.
This year, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee is Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-9), so the PA delegation is even more important than ever! We need to send the message loud and clear that bicycling is good for Pennsylvania’s economy. Please join us!
17 more miles of bike lanes and sharrows added in 2012
Since 2007, we’ve worked with the City to install a number of on-street bike markings, which include bike lanes and shared lane markings, or “sharrows.” The above map shows the installation of these facilities in the order that they were put in.
The map shows the growing connections that are made by these on-street markings. Sometimes, the road is too narrow, or the project is too costly, so the City uses sharrows to establish the route and connection. Eventually, similar to what happened on Liberty Ave in Bloomfield, the sharrows may become legit bike lanes, assuming there is physical space, money and political will for change.
In 2012, the City added about 17 miles of bike lanes (6.7 miles) and/or sharrows (10.5) on Brighton Ave and East Ohio St in the Northside, Millvale Ave and Friendship Ave in Bloomfield, Neville St in Oakland, Butler St in Lawrenceville, East Carson St in the South Side, Ellsworth Ave in Shadyside, and Thomas, Reynolds, Meade and Homewood in Point Breeze. See the BikePGH History page for details.
The year 2012 saw important gains for bicyclists’ rights and bicycling infrastructure in the counties surrounding Philadelphia. Much of those gains we’ve mentioned earlier this week, such as the new developments in The Circuit and legislation like the closing of the drunk driving loophole.
As we conclude our year-in-review series, here are some other happenings and accomplishments we can feel good about as we unwrap the plastic from our new one-a-day calendars:
- The Bicycle Coalition held six workshops in suburban PA towns, training local residents on how to become effective advocates for bicycle and pedestrian projects in their communities.
- Bucks County, Mid-Chester County, Lower Merion, and Delaware County all publicized new bicycle or greenway plans.
- We helped SEPTA, PATCO, and NJDOT create a map asking you which transit stations need more bike parking or better bicycle routes.
- A statewide push helped Pennsylvania pass a 4-foot passing law in April. This law, while it helps all bicyclists everywhere, will be especially pertinent to two-lane, shoulder-less roads in the suburban and rural parts of the state. (This could have gone under legislative highlights, but we’re assuming nobody reads just one blog post here, right?)
On January 23, 2013, PA Walks and Bikes met with Nathan Spade, the Executive Director of the PA Senate Transportation Committee. We met to discuss funding and policy issues affecting bicyclists and pedestrians statewide. The legislature is expected to pass a transportation funding bill in early 2013 and we want to be sure that our needs are addressed and met.
Items that were discussed included:
- providing dedicated funding for walking and biking projects statewide,
- staffing a full time Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at PennDOT,
- providing funding for municipal and county bike plans.
- Bicycle Occupancy Permit and its hindrance to installing bike lanes.
This meeting has been part of a larger advocacy effort that PA Walks and Bikes has been involved with. During the past year, board members have been attending meetings with legislators as part of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition. The KTFC is a multi-organizational group of transportation professionals and trades advocating for comprehensive funding. PA Walks and Bikes has been asked to represent the bicycling and pedestrian community.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are just beginning to address transportation funding, and we urge you to contact your representatives to let them know that funding for bicycle and pedestrian issues must be included.
With your support, we’ve had a productive year at Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes.
Since forming in 2008, we have become a valued voice among key decision makers in
Harrisburg. We continue to meet and work with legislators, PennDOT executives, and
transportation / health / community/ business partners to get safe, convenient
bicycling and walking facilities.
In brief, 2012 saw:
- Passage of the Four Foot Passing Law
- PPAC Reorganization
- New Federal funding package
To see the details, download the full report: 2012 Annual Report (downloads as pdf)