Lead From the Back:
Support Imperfect Cycling Infrastructure
by Dave Stauffer
I hope everyone is enjoying some relaxation in the off season and finding ways to stay fit, so that getting back on the bike is not too much of a challenge when the warmer weather arrives.
This month, I want to highlight a dichotomy that continues to be present in our bicycling club and community.
We have great cycling on the rural roads, but we should avoid being critical of efforts to improve our infrastructure within Lancaster City and other municipalities.
The club’s position is that the safest cycling requires riders to assume the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver when riding the roads. Still, safety of riders is a concern, so we should support efforts to provide for cycling infrastructure. A great cycling culture needs to include a merging of the needs in the city, trails, and bike lanes of all types; also needed are bike rentals and the transition accommodations to go from the city out to rural areas. People who come to visit expect to see accommodations for cycling.
Though some members of the community will never be comfortable assuming a position in traffic, others will grow accustomed to using bike lanes and recreational paths that are in the planning stages planned. These safer areas will allow for future generations to gain skill and confidence before riding on the roads alone or jumping into club rides.
Lancaster County and its communities have been funneling great effort and monies towards adding cycling infrastructure. For example, the Northwest River Trail and the Warwick to Ephrata trail have created great opportunities for recreation and are heavily used by the community. They are part of the Active Transportation plan which resulted from investment in time, money and people, and a few years of development.
Publicity of the plan has been happening. Highlights of this plan have been published by Lancaster Newspapers; and in the township where I live, the community newsletter dedicated an entire edition to describe the plans and explain the timing and benefits. I am excited to see the resources and efforts being devoted, despite the apparent skepticism that these plans will come to fruition.
Improvements are in action. S Not only are bike lanes appearing in the city, but both short term and long- term plans are being embraced by the rural municipalities = a necessary occurrence for these plans in to succeed.
I am amazed when I get out of Lancaster how cycling infrastructure is more prevalent. None of it is perfect but the presence of it is terrific to see. The new lanes and structures help to raise awareness for cyclists who must ride, hopefully not in contention, with urban traffic. Cyclists and motorists should learn how to coexist.
Increased infrastructure will increase consciousness and acceptance of cycling as a part of everyday traffic negotiation.
If we continue to say no to the efforts of our municipal leaders who are trying to improve the cycling infrastructure, then we can expect no accommodations. These projects are not going to tap into your pocket; rather, much of the funding is to come from state and federal grant programs.
My hope is that we stop saying no these efforts and say yes to embrace, support, and thank the efforts of those involved in these developments. Say yes to the plans rather than waiting or insisting on perfect plan. Accept this good plan so that you enjoy the benefits that others need for the betterment of cycling in our modern world.
The result will be that the Critical mass of cycling will go up and Lancaster will continue to develop as a community that supports cycling.
To learn more and share your feedback :
You will find two survey invitations in our Google Groups http://groups.google.com/group/lancasterbikeclub in the past month.
• “We need your help” post by outspoken (John Mullineaux) lancompo.org/ Survey is until February 9th.
• Survey about linking Enola trail with NW river trail post by Mary Stadden. Not sure when this expires.
You will find more information and publications regarding the Active Transportation Plan at www.lancasterplanningcommission.org “publications” for more information about the Active Transportation Plan. There are too many aspects to explain. One highlight is that the old Route 23 which has never been completed will be used to connect out to Leola/New Holland and other trail plans will eventually link to Lancaster Conservancies Money Rocks Park on the Welsh Mountain.
Manor Township website to see the planned refurbishment of the Safe Harbor Trestle bridge. If all these plans come together the Northwest River Trail will eventually connect the whole way to Chester County.
To her from PennDot and other experts on the topic, please consider attending the
“Safe Streets for Everyone”
Bicycle South Central PA’s 5th Annual Regional Bike Summit
March 21, 2020 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster – East Hall
Register at www.bicyclesouthcentralpa.org
See you on the road.
Grants Update for 2020
At the close of the LBC grant application submission process for 2020, the club received 20 applications totaling $86,800.
The grant committee, led by John Mullineaux, director of safety/community outreach, will begin the review process to select the recipients as well as determine the amount of funds to be granted to each.
Those chosen will appear in an upcoming issue of The Pedaler.