HARRISBURG – To mark the start of Bike to Work week, the Wolf Administration announced a series of planned improvements and opportunities for bicyclists during an event featuring a bike ride around Harrisburg by cabinet members and other state officials.
“Our priority is the safety of all roadway users,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards.
“I’d like to remind drivers to slow down and give people on bikes the required four feet of passing distance when you see them out on the road, and I ask those riding bicycles to please ride responsibly.”
At the event, PennDOT announced plans to unveil a draft of the department’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan on May 30 via webcast.
The updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for Pennsylvania that will outline a vision and framework for improving conditions for walking and bicycling across Pennsylvania, most notably for those Pennsylvanians who walk and bicycle out of necessity rather than for leisure and recreation.
The Master Plan will also identify and help prioritize strategies that increase the number of people walking and bicycling, while supporting safety and multimodal connectivity throughout the state.
Since 2017, PennDOT awarded more than $20 million in funding for 33 grants through the Multimodal Transportation Fund for projects that include improvements to bicycle and or pedestrian facilities.
In addition to the Multimodal Grant Funds, PennDOT provided $13.4 million in support for on-road bicycle facilities through federal funds.
“This day may stress the benefits of biking to work, but the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) offers an open invitation when the workweek is done,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.
“Better health and sheer enjoyment await you when you start pedaling on our state forest roads and in our state parks.”
Rep. David Maloney, whose proposed “Share the Road” legislation was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2016, said: “Pennsylvania has a great combination of designated bike routes and off-the-road options, and so we have great opportunities for all kinds of cycling here.
“Whether it was my dad growing up in Philadelphia, or me and my children growing up in the country, bicycling is not only healthy and fun, it is a great option for transportation.”
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse added, “The City of Harrisburg is committed to making its streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians alike. That’s why we launched the Vision Zero Program. Eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries will make our streets safe and accessible for all.”